Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Around Town And At Sea

There are a number of Key West poems around the city embedded in cement. This haiku is at Johnson's Grocery in Bahama Village.
 Elizabeth Street looking toward Solares Hill more or less, with Truman Avenue at my back.. I was struck by how straight the curb looked.
 The former Seven Fish on Olivia. That restaurant has moved to a large modern structure on Truman.
 I was encouraged to see the old intimate building functioning once again as an eatery. A good one I am told.
 It's not cheap so one might hope it is of good quality and lives up to billing.
 Key West lighthouse well inland to avoid hurricane damage. 
 I watched this beer truck struggle to pass a UPS  package van going the opposite direction. Traffic backed up for a few minutes as mirrors were folded. Made of Less might be helpful for a truck in Bahama Village.
 Ecology is a laughable concept in Key West. But there are some token efforts:
 Former Navy Housing converted to luxury living behind a fence in case Key West scares you.
 I ate here once and the snooty service put me off ever going back. 
 70 degrees and sunny. A healthy reminder not everyone gets this in February in the Northern Hemisphere.
I was watching Webb Chiles’ videos of his sail from Marathon to Hilton Head, available on YouTube and where so many people make sailing videos of all the extraneous postcard views of sailing as endless vacation, the Master in his short spare clips takes you out of yourself and puts you on the edge of experience. 
Chiles Sailing   takes you on the water and shows what sailing is really like.  He has dozens of videos covering much of his most recent circumnavigation and they should be required viewing for wannabe sailors. They have a dreadful effect on me for in them I see what I’ve always looked for at sea and never found. Chiles should be banned from land not as punishment but to put him where he needs to be, showing us how it’s done. Considering he has spent his life on the water and rarely in comfort it should come as no surprise he is utterly at home sailing what most people would consider an unsuitable boat into places of great alone-ness in an overcrowded world. In a world desperately seeking harmony he holds the elusive element in his had out there on the waves in the wind in the tiny cabin he calls his home on the vasty ocean.
It is a lesson made real watching him at home in his tiny space living large and showing us serenity in nature’s chaos.  He and his wife have landed in a new home ashore, just right and smoothly done. The enrichment of my life, selfishly comes sitting perched on his shoulder in Gannet watching the waves slide by as my reminder that there is and there shall be more than is expressed in my routines that inch me, like an ox tethered to a cart, to my own goal of freedom. It is an art, his sailing, and like all good art it sets us to thinking and to craving and to demanding more. I am embarrassed to want more from a man who has devoted his long life to his sailing art but I do. I fear if you start reading his words and viewing his videos you will too. And then where will we be? Unruly mob that’s where. Bring it on. Sail Webb, sail.