Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sailing #2 (Sense of the City)

As you are reading this I should still be at sea, however I am still writing from the past. Outside the window is cold and rainy and overcast. The weather is dreary and drab and damp. I don't sleep quite so well as I do when I'm visiting the farm. It's so quite and dark. I love living in Chicago. The hustle and bustle of the city leads to new experiences and an exciting life, but I can't relax like I can on the farm.

It's so important to have new experiences, to see what it's like in different lives. This is what I hope my trip will be all about. I hope to step outside my comfort zone, try new foods, meet new people. I've lived a relatively regulated lifestyle over the last few years: same school, same apartment, same food, same bars. Repeated over and over on different days at different times. It's fun, but perhaps I need something else.

A break from the monotony will help me transition from one point in life to another. It will create a boundary that says, "No more homework past this point." I get a break from everything I have done so much of lately.

I don't work well with change most of the time, but it is important to get out of my comfort level every now and then. I am excited. I'm happy to be able to do something new, even though I don't yet know what that will be.

The calm at the farm washes over me as I sit outside in the long grass as it sets to seed. The wet weather left in the night, now the sky is clear and the sun beats down. Other than the occasional bounding dog, the only movement is the slight wind working through the blades.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Horta of the Azorian Islands

I am blogging from a boat anchored on the edge of the marina in Horta, which is on an island in the Azores, about 500 miles away from and owned by Portugal. This town is lovely. If there was an English language newspaper, or if I spoke Portuguese, I would move here in a heartbeat. Considering neither of those things are bound to happen soon, I think I'm staying in Illinois.

There are real people here, with real lives, which doesn’t sound like much but considering some of the billionaire playground tropical islands out there, it's an anomaly. The buildings are beautiful, too. The sea salt in the air doesn't do good things to the mortar, but they turn these great colors with wonderful patterns. I've been going crazy taking pictures of doors. I like doors.

They have great wine and great cheese on these islands. Jump at the chance to try some Pico wine or Sao Jorge's cheese from the Azores.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sailing (Sence of the City)

I am not writing this on the boat. I am not turning with the wind and the waves of the sea. I am sitting at the farm with the ocean of green grass and songs of the birds. It's a farewell visit, before my long trip.

As you are reading this, I am fighting the big waves, or I'm tying up a loose sail, or I'm wrestling a big fish on board, or I'm not doing much of anything. I don't know what I'll be doing. This is all new to me. I don't know what to expect or what to prepare for. All I know for sure is that it will exceed my own thoughts.

I have been reluctant to talk about the trip. I've been worried about what people will say. There is a type of person who can sail, rich. And I'm not used to associating myself with the upper class. Rich people don't eat Ramen Noodles for dinner, but the poor rarely get to learn which is the port side.

I'm uncomfortable in this position. I stutter when people ask me what I'm doing for the summer. I look away, turn a bit red and smile; and then I say "Well . . . " After I tell them, they say, "That's amazing." But, in their head, I know they are saying, "Must be nice." Maybe not, maybe it's all in my own head. But I'll still think it and still get embarrassed.

I'm sure, once I get there--on the boat and out in the water--I'll forget all about my discomfort. I'll get engrossed in the weather--the sun or the wind or something. I don't know. Snow maybe?