Kathy and I took our boat for ride yesterday. We became part owners with a bunch of other sometime sailors and it fits just fine. As we ambled here and there she took the wheel for the first time. She could not understand why she had to keep adjusting the heading. For sure Cap’n Ted seized the opportunity began a discourse on set and drift. It is the action of the current that pushes you off course so to speak. Kathy began to doze at the wheel
Now crosscurrents are quite interesting. Some are visible to the naked eye and others, specifically thermal ones are the ones that catch you off guard. There is an amazing confluence of them underneath the Triboro Bridge in Manhattan and the passage is aptly named Hell Gate. The severity of this maelstrom can be such that boats from small to large are sent to the depths of the East River. .
For a moment take that concept to our lives. We would like to believe it is a reasonably straight path with few turns or obstacles. Mind your own business, keep your nose clean and you will arrive safely on the other side whatever that is for you. Just doesn’t happen that way. We can be beset by good fortune as well as tragedy. Bad things happen to good people or something like that. Rather than bemoaning this I wonder if it is better to embrace it?
Going further, what about our whole way of thinking? My precepts whether they deal with politics, religion or me fellow man have taken some incredible twists and turns over 72 years. I guess in college I was a borderline liberal that grew to a conservative and now I am a miss mash of beliefs. One can consider whether those foundations were on shaky ground to start or perhaps that was the way we were meant to be?
This week was MLK’s birthday. The plight of the black person in this country is well chronicled. If you watch the newsreels of Little Rock and Selma I wonder if you can still maintain white supremacist or just anti black feelings as you watch our fellow Americans spitting and screaming at what is just a bunch of kids trying to get an equal education? The snarling German Shephards and cops toting rifles reflected In their mirror sunglasses makes me cringe with guilt. This was after the fact. I wonder what I really thought then.
As I grow older I find friends and family sometimes becoming more set in their ways. We read and watch what confirms our beliefs sometimes never thinking through their implications. I think a good example is the whole DACA issue.
There are those who believe we should deport everyone who is here illegally. Send them som’ bitches back. There are others who say we should give entry to anyone who wants it. Where is your heart TTG ? To me you have to have laws but you also have to have
common sense. Some kids have been here since they were two or three. The parents are in many cases true pillars to the community through their work or volunteer efforts. Where do you draw the line? How far do we let our little ship go off course either one way or the other?
We went to see a troupe of Irish Dancers the other night in beautiful downtown Stuart. The music and the dancing were both lively and melancholy. The plot if you will was a young lass leaving Erin for the States. My grandmother and her sister walked down that road In the Town of Boyle in County Roscommon at the ages of 14 and 16. They made lives and families that were nothing short of exemplary. Would I tell them today, “Tough luck, you have to go back”? Can I feel the same way whether you be Rumanian or Ethiopian?
It seems whatever the issue I can’t definitively say I am one side or the other. Social Security, Medicare, Education, foreign policy, you name it, I can give you cogent arguments for both sides. Even if I choose one corner or the other deep down I have to believe at least parts of the contra argument. Does that make me a waffler or realist?
I will tell you one thing and that is knowledge is dangerous. If I sit in my own little world and do not poke my head out, my ideals are intact. Don’t say anything. Just shut up and leave me alone. When you read study and start to dig deeper you really get confused. Hmm, maybe this or that makes sense. That’s okay I will just take that article or book and hide out out of sight. That is the devil just tempting me with sinful thoughts. Infidels can be Republican, Democratic, white, black, Catholic,Jewish, heretic, atheist. Death to them all!
As we brought the Good Ship Lollipop back to port we thought of new places we had seen. Wandering down this estuary or creek was fun. We saw black men fishing off a pier and people just waving to us from a passing boat. We went off course and the beaten path. The currents pushed us this way and that and we were the better for it. As we tied up all was well because nothing had changed…or had it?
Ted The Great
None this week. Just thinking.