The Blessed Boat

I woke this morning to Saturday, blessed in that I did not have to, at nine AM. It was the first time in a long while I've awakened well rested, knowing that this is in fact when my body and mind feel like taking on consciousness. Hijacking one's physiology via alarm clock has always struck me as one of civilization's many 'hidden' barbarisms, but that's a discussion for another time.

I've been blown to pieces by Allende's House of the Spirits, which has reminded me repeatedly why writing matters, to me, and what role it can at best play in the evolution and maturation of the human spirit.

My good friend Mukoma has often chided me, You Have Issues, Kenyon. You Don't Trust Your Imagination. You Have To Finish Your Shit. I knew simultaneously that a) he was on to something, and b) that imagination has never been an issue for me.

It occured to me for the first time this morning, in a Krishnamurti breakthrough moment, that it's my Words I do not trust... that I've been seeking some impossibly poetic perfection for what should really just be flying out of my fingertips at least several hours per day. Enough said.

Two good friends of mine are sailing south tomorrow morning, bound for the Carribean. Mamalinda mentioned more than once she wanted me to come out and bless the boat before they left.

It bears explanation at this point that I performed the wedding ceremony for her golden child, TKO, and one of my oldest dearest friends, Raquelita, in Charlotte one year ago May. This entire crew refers to me with some irony as The Good Reverend, which shortens nicely to TGR in written form.

Around 4:30 I hit the road, drove east to the marina on the St. Croix, where I parked the Full Monte and got into TKO & Raquelita's Lexus, and promptly placed myself in the hands of the GPS lady. She was smooth as hell and never steered me wrong, through endless sunlit golden cornfields and along the ever widening river, through a half dozen small towns and past innumberable bikers cruising & drinking in legion throughout the region. When I arrived two hours later at the appointed place, T & R met me with a cold glass of champagne and warm hugs.

They took me out on the docks to Mamalinda & the Captain's boat, which I'd spent one relaxing day upon a couple weeks before. Captain had replaced a part that day, which I asked about. "Is that an underwater job?"

"No," he said. "Do you want to see?"

"Sure," I said, "Unless you'd rather just relax." Captain was already opening the floor hatch. I followed him down the step ladder once he clicked on the light below. Crouching room only, he showed me the part he'd replaced, a fat rubber gear with long teeth which had lost its gripping capacity. The notion of losing one's grip (via an Avril Lavigne lyric) occurred to me just then, and it struck me as a reasonably apt way of evaluating mental health. At what point do we have, or not have, a grip on ourselves, our situations? The question too is raised as to when we must loosen our grip (Lavigne's album is titled Let Go) vs. clinging to expectations; the 2nd Noble Truth is, of course, Expectation is the root of our suffering.

Captain pointed out that a particular hose was going out, where a certain belt was a bit looser than he liked, and when I asked, explained that he'd loosen xyz bolts and pry a certain framework outward to increase the tension. He gave me a brief tour of the diesel generator, the three house batteries, and the AC/DC/AC converter which enabled one to run things like refrigerators and hair dryers without running the generator 24/7. All this in a relatively warm crawl space, but the man was a fountain of knowledge, and I am always interested in his perspective.

Up above, TKO asked "What'd you think of the engine room?"

"Cool," I said. "In a warm kind of way."

Mamalinda and the Captain took us out for dinner. Two musicians played guitar and keyboard and sang outside a nearby cafe; a couple or two danced on the sidewalk while the rest of us awaited tables or enjoyed the warm summer evening.

Afterward, we returned to the boat. The blessing had been mentioned, but things were winding down. There wasn't going to be any kind of group ceremony going down; we are not by dynamic a spiritual clique, but I did get a strong sense that I should go to the foredeck, which I did.

Up there the air was cool and the stars glistening, and I understood immediately it was them I'd be addressing. Overcome with emotion, I simply said, Stars, I know I've been asking you for a lot lately, but you've come though every time, so I just have to ask you to help protect this boat.

And the musicians back up the hill, outside the restaurant, were seriously playing some extraordinarily solemn and churchy music. I'm more a natural than a stained glass mystic, but everything aligned in this energetic and solid way. I went to the railing, touched the ropes and felt that they were solid. This boat is solid, I knew. It doesn't need my blessing. It's aligned with the fucking stars.

"Reverend, you ready to go?" asked Raquelita, out on the dock. I was.

Up at the car, Mamalinda and the Captain said their goodbyes to R & T & their granddaughter Mia. When I shook the Captain's hand, he said, "Well, your blessing must have worked, cause if I hadn't noticed that hose was going, I'd have been in a world of trouble further down the line."