5.23.2006

dabbling



It is past midnight. Peter is usually lucky if I’m conscious past ten. Tonight, he is fast asleep awaiting his 5am alarm. And I am in the living room with a loudly dreaming hound and a pile of unread books on curriculum design.

I spent most of this Monday blatantly avoiding the work I need to finish. An open internet connection and a long to-do list are a dangerous combination in this house. Especially for me. Especially today.

Yesterday, the outfitter down the street held a kayaking demonstration in a nasty little retention pond at the Lions Club Park down the road. I saw the signs on the way back from Nanny Duty. When I got home, I locked the car, clipped the leash on the dog, and sprinted the few blocks back to the park. Breathing a sigh of relief that there were still boats in the water, Nyssa and I began wandering through the tents. She lapped up the attention of notoriously dog-loving outdoor folk while I fondled foot braces, new fangled seat designs and innovative hatch covers. Wilderness Systems, my company of choice, had their new Tsunami line out for the trying. It took me until they began packing up to ask if I could take the 140 for a spin. In minutes, Nyssa was abandoned to a tree and I was sliding through the now empty pond water, barefoot and jeans rolled up to my knees. Before I could take a full breath, I started to cry.

Yesterday was the first time I have been in a Kayak in two years. They are expensive critters, and even with a company two blocks away and a huge river twice as far again down the hill, I might as well have been living in the Sahara. I came home clutching an already dog-eared catalogue, more determined than ever to get my hands on a Cape Horn 170 (my guide boat from Seward … even after a spin in the new Tsunami, I am positive that the 170 is the boat for me.) Someday. Poor Peter had to spend his Sunday afternoon talking me down.

With the memory of sliding silently through water, spinning feathered paddles across afternoon shadows still singing in my muscles, sitting down to review assessment research and design a literature unit with images of cloistered classrooms and restless students flashing through my mind, I could not (would not?) bring myself to focus on the task at hand.

I have four more weeks of books and papers before we can start packing, and I have to figure out a way to get through. My momentary tryst with an unmet future is doing nobody in this house any favors, and the dog was certainly traumatized remembering all those months being left tied to the shore.

5 comments:

Soen Joon Sunim said...

"With the memory of sliding silently through water, spinning feathered paddles across afternoon shadows still singing in my muscles, sitting down to review assessment research and design a literature unit with images of cloistered classrooms and restless students flashing through my mind, I could not (would not?) bring myself to focus on the task at hand."

Ooof, if I don't know *exactly* how you feel, then the sky ain't blue... Of course, I have a slightly different barrier to outdoor activity (darn quasi-cloistered nun's life!), but as a former swimmer, sometimes I find myself longing for the feeling of slipping through water that's like a second skin, of rhythm, and breath, and the space that only comes from being in two worlds at once, the water and the air. I hope you get that 170!

maria said...

Soen Joon -

Thanks for stopping by! I am a new reader (and fan) of your blog, and quite humbled by your visit to this little culdesac.

I do hope for a 170, perhaps a used one at the end of the season. But it is easier to wait, now that the throes of missing have passed. It is funny how it comes in waves - so powerful and dibilitating, so easy to get swept up in. But I'm finding more and more that if I can just sit still, sink down a little, the wave will pass and I will breathe sooner and better for it. (and get to sleep before 2am!)

peace to you.

.m.

beholdhowfree said...

OMG this totally made me all emotional just reading it. I can't for your return to the water as soon as possible. Live a life worth talking about!

At A Hen's Pace said...

Hang in there, gal!

Will you be coming through Chicago on your way to AK?

maria said...

At this point, Chicago isn't on the route. That could change, but as of now we are planning on heading north from here and doing a speedy-as-possible coast-to-coast through Canada. :( I hope we can get there for a visit again before too long!