Writing at Christmas Cove
20 February 2013 | USVI Saint Thomas Christmas Cove
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
Opening up my laptop this morning, I told Ed I wanted to write something evocative, substantial, anything other than the prattle I've been posting on the blog lately. I grumbled about not feeling particularly inspired and he said, "What we do looks the same after awhile". It's true. Each day blends seamlessly into the days forward and back. We often don't know what day it is, guess at the time, rise with the sun and slowly shut down after dark. But surely something must be stirring me; after all, we live in the tropics with beauty surrounding us like pieces of colorful fabric. What's not to be inspired about? Maybe it is as Ed says, everything emerging into "just another day".
I'm reading a book written by a successful business owner who with her husband cashed out, built a yacht and sailed away from life as they knew it over a decade ago. Something about what she chooses as her topics helped me recognize that for anyone not living on a boat, this life is an utterly alien concept. After 30 years as an expert in my chosen profession, I sometimes forgot that not everyone thought like me, in the way I was trained to think about human behavior and interaction. Why would they? Do I think like an auto mechanic, chef or medical technician? A scientist, physician or banker? One of my cruising buddies occasionally asks my opinion about psychological or emotional issues and when I rattle off my thoughts, she says, "Oh, thanks, I never looked at things this way!" and I am stunned each time. Really? This is news? Don't get me wrong, she's a smart woman but she doesn't live in the world of psychological nuances the way I did for all those years. What seems obvious to me might be brand new and interesting to someone who doesn't see the world through the same lens.
Where am I going with this? Back to that book I'm reading. The author states things that I find completely obvious and hardly worth mentioning...because I live the life she was living as a cruiser. I have personal experience. It comes off the page as mundane but it is quite interesting to those who don't have first hand experience of it. Another cruiser, a woman who has a phenomenal blog about their adventures at sea posted recently about cleaning out her cupboards. She showed before and after photos and many readers commented on how interesting they found that series of posts, as did I. Talk about mundane! Anytime we glimpse how someone else lives, it can be intriguing. A friend back home told me she loves hearing stories about how my family lives or where things come from because it's like opening the door to another culture. I love that.
After thinking about all this, I have realized I want to keep writing about how we actually live. It's been 19 months since we cut our ties with the land-based world and in the first year, I wrote a lot about how this life differs from the other. It was a remarkable learning curve for Ed and me, and for Luna, and now I think I've moved on, believing falsely that the "how we live" topic is finished, that if I've adjusted to this life, somehow there's nothing more to write about. As if, since I've adjusted, you have, too and will find topics related to it old hat, humdrum, yesterday's news. I'm re-thinking this. If I didn't merge each day into the next, what would I notice specifically about the life of a cruiser? There truly is a treasure chest in this endeavor. I can hardly wait to explore the contents. Right now, I'm mulling it over, planting a few creative seeds, letting them germinate until the spouts provide something I can dig into. I can't tell you exactly what will pop up; I can only show you the buds poking out toward the sun, hopeful something will burgeon and bloom.