Monday, October 3, 2011

Intermission, Entry 1

Silence. Blessed, blessed silence.

I sit on the bed, reveling in it. No compressors, no grinding in the engine workshops, no passengers flushing above my head. No roommate, no neighbors, and no intercom next to my bunk at night.

Hostal San Telmo was deserted when I arrived except for an old man watering potted plants in the lobby. My balcony door was open when I got upstairs, and I swept open the curtain to the sweet smell of summer pine. Cala Major is laid out beneath me -- doves cooing in the tree next to the pool, an occasional car passing by, and the ever present rumble of the ocean.

The ocean -- I wrote a few days ago that the theme of my life on the Grandeur was unlearning. that's true, but really the them of my life onboard was the ocean. I haven't gone more than a few hours without seeind and smelling it for the past seven months; it's always there. It has rocked me to sleep every night -- through the steel hull of the ship, my body has soaked in its rhythm down to my bones.

And I love the ocean. The smell of it -- salt and life and ruthless energy. It is intoxicating, like the smell of passion. It speaks to the body in a way that awakens the sensual. It ripples with fibrous strength, defying control and nicety in favor of willful disobedience. If there is anything of the elemental to be found in the world, in us, it is to be found in the ocean.

What more fitting theme for a time of unlearning? The ocean is that which reduces everything rigid and inflexible (whether stone or steel) to dust. Perhaps it has dissolved that which was rigid and inflexible inside of me as well.

I miss my shipmates. There's not much else to say beyond that, except that I can sense an era in my life has ended. Our cab driver from the ship whistled a bit of "I can't take it/take it/take no more" absentmindedly as we drove out of the port . . . the song was so prevalent on board, to hear it whistled as we left inspired a short bit of melancholy.

Tomorrow the adventure begins anew . . . but for now I rest, and savor the memories of friends that I may never see again.

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