Monday, April 16, 2012

Little Obstacles

Small changes can really bollux the day. Today, the problem is a kayak. The floating tennis court next door (otherwise known as s/v Pzazz) has always been a large white shadow next to Don Quixote. She's absolutely enormous. Her engines are incredibly loud, and she's embarassingly clean. We really like the owners, of course, but let's face it. Pzazz makes us look bad.

But as I said, the problem today is actually the kayak. First, it doesn't match the rest of Pzazz. Kayaks are inevitably made of some highly visible shade of orange, red or yellow. This kayak somehow manages to be all three simultaneously. So the big white building in the dock next us is now a big white building with a toothpaste toob of fluorescent flame. Worse, the kayak is somehow ideally positioned to completely block our view of the rest of the marina, including the brand new Lagoon 400 which moved in last week on Dock E.

So on second thought, maybe the kayak is a good thing. If there is one thing worse than being an old, abused family catamaran toddling next to an elegant modern mega yacht, it's being an old, abused boat across the aisle from a brand new boat of the same model. The neighborhood keeps getting nicer. This is going to be a problem when we go to sell the old girl.

The whole thing reminds me forcibly and metaphorically that I too am an abused, old family boat surrounded in beautiful younger models. I thought it was distressing when the girls started to outgrow the sobriquet 'little girls' as they became teenagers. This recent phase of becoming young women, however, is so much worse. As is often the case, the newer models fix many of the deficiencies of the earlier iterations. The new ones are prettier, smarter, faster, and all around nicer than their increasingly canterkous, much-patched mother. The metaphor breaks down only when we start talking storage space and bilges. Let's be honest. I've got them beat all over when it comes to places to store extra calories.

While I could itemize the many broken bits on the good ship Toast, it seems a pointless waste of bytes. I'm more interested in this damn kayak blocking my view. The owners are good people. As soon as I bring it to their attention, they will move the kayak. As I am given to lyrical metaphor and infected with GTD goodness (having committed to rereading the complete David Allen oeuvre as penance for not getting a job fast enough), I wonder what this kayak really means to me. What other obstacles are there between me and what I want. What flaming walls of smelly new plastic stand between me and my hopes and dreams?

Six months ago, my horizons were literal. I am mean literal in the most literal possible sense of the word. The horizon was the HORIZON. It doesn't get any more horizon-ish than staring out across the big blue Pacific 500 miles from anything. Now it feels like there are stoppages and blockages between me and absolutely everything. In only months, the family has accumulated so much cruft it feels like we are already due for a good colonic. We are literally trapped in this slip by weather, broken engine, and inertia. Even if we could get out, we can't get together as every time I try to schedule something, one or more of the crew have a prior committment. It's exciting to see everyone engaged in off boat activities -- plays, climbing mountains, netball, friends, boyfriends (okay that's just weird), music lessons, jobs. However, the family that spent so long living with only each other, now appears to be have burst apart like an overfull water balloon on hot concrete.

It's hard to go from unlimited outlook to a kayak in the face. Even if all I have to do is go over and ask them to move it, it's still there. Getting it out of the way takes time and effort. Getting the kids mustered out for a weekend up in Russell took time and herculean effort. Unfortunately, what stands between me and my children is my children who are not children any more but sexy new models ready for boat shows and yacht races and all sorts of new adventures. And no amount of bitching about it is going to move them out of the way to restore my view of our future as a place where we all bobbed along side by side, linked by a network of docks, lines, and shared goals.


Anonymous said...

There is something to be said for an old boat. It is mostly paid for, and you know it's flaws. Reliable, trustworthy. It has provided a lifetime of pleasure. It has been a safe haven in time of turmoil.

Anonymous said...

Sweet post, life!