June 18, 2015, Off Campbell River, BC- On a full day of being ferried through the Canadian section of the Inland Passage, the focus turned inward. Fleeting glimpses of places like Bella Bella were more a diversion than the main attraction, on this misty day.
Three central issues in my life flowed along today: Worthiness, safety and perseverance.
In my late teens and in my twenties, I was a train wreck. I was taught social skills in my childhood, but never quite internalized them, until about age 30. The less said about all my missteps and accidents in that decade or so, the better. Things went along well, in my thirties and forties, the prime years of our marriage, and of careers. My fifties were another rough patch, yet there I did learn perseverance, and that it is the natural outgrowth of commitment. My family and friends have stuck with me, through all of it, and each of these years passed before me, in reflection, during the course of this day.
I have had a hard row, in feeling safe, in certain places, during the course of my life. I felt alternately safe and threatened, growing up in my hometown, but learning to face adversaries is an all-too-common part of life. I certainly feel secure, when in Saugus, now, of course. So, too, has the list of places where I feel at ease and free from harm, been growing, over the past few years.
Maybe that’s the real reason why I have been in so many places, since 2011. I have always wandered, as has been mentioned before, but perhaps the only way to know for sure as to security, is to go to a place, follow the normal protocols of safety and courtesy expected there, and prove to myself that all is okay.
Now, on my way back to the more contiguous reaches of North America, I am reminded of perseverance. There is much ahead, in Prescott and vicinity, across Arizona, and around the southwest quadrant of the United States, over the next many months. Family events will take me away, for a few days here and there, but the main focus will be the life of community.
So, as I read “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store”, and “Crota”, my mind considered the sacrifices made by the protagonists of both stories, the triumph over almost insurmountable challenges, and the three-dimensional nature of the antagonists. My mind considered what I had overcome, when I had been a protagonist of sorts, and when I have been cast as the antagonist in an event- which has happened, more to my chagrin than I sometimes care to think. Nothing beyond the mist is as foggy, or as clearcut, as we sometimes like to think.
Many things go on, like the lives of whales, largely beneath the surface.
Then, the truth surfaces, and distant realities also have to be considered, even as we marvel at the sight closest to our eyes.
I started to refer to the town visible from our port as “Port Hardy”. A gentleman who is more seasoned on these cruises calmly stated the town was Campbell River, and that he had camped there in his RV, on a few occasions.
Oh, the joy, and humility, of seeing illusions evaporate. I placed the freshly-completed copy of “Crota” back in the Purser’s library, and donated “Mr. Penumbra” to that collection. It will appeal to at least a couple of inquiring minds among the ship’s crew. In the morning, I would see the sight of Fairhaven, the ferry port at Bellingham, WA. It is time for filling in the gaps, of my map of the Evergreen State.