Can't we all just get along?
05 June 2007 | Charleston City Marina
Thunder showers, winds SW 15-20
Bruce just came below smiling. He has been having difficulty all day getting his Nobeltec Software on his laptop to talk to his Furuno Radar. There is a conflict there and he hasn't been able to resolve it. The reason he was smiling is because he just said it was actually easier to forget trying to resolve the conflict and just enter the waypoints manually.
This has me thinking. We went over to visit the ships at Patriots Point - especially the WW II sub yesterday and I have been thinking about war and conflict. Recently, I have been doing all this reading about the second World War and thinking about what a change in world view it took to get the isolationist Americans into that war. Nothing less than Pearl Harbor would have done it. Just as seven or eight years ago we didn't see the problems in the Muslim world as being of concern to Americans. It is in our nature as human beings to think that we are right, whether in politics, religion or love. When I write my books, it is all about the conflict in the story. Our human stories have no interest if there is no conflict. And yet . . .
Bruce and I are two cussedly independent people. We have both lived alone for a long while. We are two human beings each with a personal isolationist policy trying to learn to live together. We have long histories apart - and different ideas about many things.
Thirty-five years ago I was protesting against the Vietnam War and Bruce was an Air Force fighter pilot. Later, he was a science guy eventually getting a Ph.D in Engineering, while I was an English major with a double major in Math Phobia. He is PC Guy while I am Mac. And on and on.
Tonight at dinner we were discussing boats and I had the gall to say that while I adore how this boat sails, I have felt safer in a center cockpit boat. He said center cockpits are douche central, wet and miserable. I disagreed. We went back and forth, neither of us giving an inch, until he finally said, "It's obvious you don't like my boat."
Alarm bells jangled in my brain. First of all, it isn't true. Second, telling a man you don't like his boat is WORSE than telling him you don't like his mother, his sister, his dog or his truck. I knew I was in deep shit.
So, I've been laying low and thinking - about conflict. The truth of it is, conflict is what makes life and literature interesting. People who sail off looking for Paradise, will find it's really boring. WILD MATILDA is an incredible sailboat. I've never sailed a boat that is such a joy to steer. She is a racehorse, chomping at the bit, high strung and feisty. At my age, that is both incredibly exciting and a little frightening.
And I am a dreamer. Lately, I've been dreaming of a boat that might have both the qualities of a great sailor and something that felt a little more secure.
But don't tell Bruce. Or I'll start another conflict.
Tomorrow morning, at 5:00 a.m., we leave for a 36 hour sail to Beaufort, North Carolina.