December 23, 2003
Reverie: Silk Cayes [13 April 2003]

Transcription of my Belize travel journal continued

I spent last night in a hammock & rocking in the stiff breeze made me think about how such a life is so marked a contrast to our normal cosmopolitan lives. Here I am, yielding myself to the wind & the sand & the stars & at home I lie w/in 4 sound walls, in a temperature controlled environment, on a coil-sprung bed--there's practically nothing left to chance there. Here, I am at the mercy of the sea--only because she has been reasonably obliging have I been able to function comfortably. It is a totally different mindset & even though I've become used to living out-of-doors, I'm never totally comfortable--I'm always a bit worried that a turn of bad luck can turn life into something very unpleasant.

I probably need too much control over my environment, at home I have many mechanisms to assert that control (as meager as they are). Outdoors, I feel a constant drive to maintain some orderliness, perhaps I should go with the flow more. Which kind of person is better at surviving? Not just here, but in general.

I do have to sit back & appreciate what I have here--who would believe us when I tell them I slept in a hammock, rocked by the wind looking up through the rustling fronds of a coconut tree to the stars?

The last few evenings I've been thinking about xxxxx ...

...& it was my birthday 4 days ago, I'm a quarter of a century years-old, what do you make of that? & now I've been thinking I should take a year off & go to Mariner's school. Is this a silly dream worthy of a quarter century old-timer, or a silly reverie of youth? I have such a vivid image in my mind of a tilted deck of a boat going into the wind close-hauled--it must be the coastal ancestry exerting its distant memories.

Posted by erich at December 23, 2003 08:19 AM
Comments

Just a minor one, but your posted year doesn't quite flow with your other entries (shouldn't it be '1994' rather than '2003'?).

By the way, I got sidetracked from reading about the Codex. Your 'Odds and Ends' section fascinated me and I couldn't resist...particularly your current reading list. Right now, I'm in the midst of reading Meacham's Franklin (Roosevelt) and Winston (Churchill), which describes their emotional connection (friendship?) during the tumultuous years of WWII. One of the qualities that they shared was their enjoyment of inviting eclectic groups of people to their homes for dinner and conversation. There is a funny story about Winston - during 1944, Winston Churchill heard that a Mr. Berlin was in London. An invitation was issued post-haste, and when the opportunity arose, Winston asked Mr. Berlin when he thought the war would end. Well, instead of Mr. ISAIAH Berlin, he got the other one - Mr. IRVING Berlin, the American songsmith. I've never heard of this Isaiah Berlin before, and now within a month, there are 2 references to him.
I will have to look up who this fellow is - my guess is that he is a writer and philosopher.

I have other thoughts with re: to your other postings, but there is not space to do so at this time. However, I saw the Borders Bookstore en route to visiting friends in Durham this Christmas. Despite its lack of a good biography section, its presence in the community must surely be welcomed. When I lived in Chapel Hill, I used to bemoan the lack of bookstores where I could browse, sit, read, and think to my heart's content. There was a small unsatisfying one at University Mall, and a slighter bigger one at the now defunct South Square Mall. Yes, Borders (and Barnes & Nobles) have a cookie-cutter sort of blandness. But I think that their welcoming of booklovers who can escape from the world for a bit of time more than makes up for that.

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