Monday, 23 April 2012

the readiness is all...

Or perhaps (sorry about this, Hamlet) the repetition (preferably of a good experience...) is all.
Here I am again, in a small sail boat, on a bumpy lumpy sea, with a softly drizzling greyness above, and a chilly wind on my face. And I wonder (how I wonder) what on earth has presuaded me to allow myself into this position. (And the boat is bouncing as I type, so please excuse some blips in the spelling...)
Well, of course, the answer is -- I love this man (oh sorry that sounds really ridiculous, like something from a 1950s musical!) But it's true. Otherwise, I would NEVER be sitting here on this wooden bench in the boat's (admittedly protected) cockpit, holding the boat's wheel (behind my back, so I can face forwards without getting twisted muscle-ache!!) and trying to steer this recalcitrant piece of metal, through waters that I do not know.
But now for the plus side: yesterday, sailing to Acciorola, the sun appeared (oh brief but welcome visitation!) and when we arrived at the harbour entrance, a sweet-faced statue of Mary, Stella Maris, hands spread open and eyes cast down at the waves, greeted our tranquil entry. No one around to ask, so we found a slot between two similar-sized boats, and moored, and then went for a walk in the town. Delightful. Small and totally un-touristy, and lots of the locals engaged in the Sunday promenade. We found a pleasant place to enjoy a gelato (chocolate and nocciola...).
Had a fine supper, as always.
At some point I will lyricise about our Italian cooking -- but now for a lyrical passage about the Campania scenery (seen from the sea).
We set off, about 11 in the morning (after stocking up at the local supermarket, actually a small grocery shop with wide selection of all basic neessities and even some non-basics like the Siennese delicacy containing figs, nuts and nougat (painforte)).
The sky pale grey overhead and white in the distance, and some stupendous cloud formations, including four vertical lines of swooping grey, resembling angels' wings, such as I have never seen (and not even in an Italian painting).
The bumping and lurching started after a while. But, surprisingly, today I wasn't angry at it. Nor had I even resorted to my two tables of Stugeron (?cinnarizine) to stave off seasickness. Which I had taken on the two previous days.
As my son once remarked, however, there is something utterly boring about just bumping along (no joke intended) and when I try to look at a sea chart or focus on anything too near, the inevitable murgle inside me begins. So back to the horizontal. And although I compose delightful scenes while lying prostrate, I can never recall them later. The expense of spirit in a waste of water...
So we move slowly southwards, locking the hours of daylight into our cameras (haven't yet mastered my camera's night-time skills) and letting the swell of the sea become our friend.
And softly remembering, I have desired to go / where winds not blow...
Oh, and the triumph, of course, at the end of the day.After the battle, after the beating, quiet and rocking peace.

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