Saturday, September 01, 2007
Captain! Turn around and take me home...
We are flying out step aboard that most excellent sailing vessel, the Steven Taber along with our two good friends Dean and Erin. Looking back on the last two years of blogging, I really haven't written much about the Taber. This surprises me considering how cool it is. The Taber is a schooner that calls Rockland, Maine its home. It sails throughout the summer and has been in continuous service since 1871. It saw action in both world wars and has been both workhorse and pleasure craft. That's what the sailing craft is, but not what it is about.
It's really like a time machine. When I walk the decks, see a whale surfacing for air next to the 100+ year-old railing I am leaning over as we glide through the Atlantic under no other power than the wind in the sails, I can't help but think how it must've been to live long ago. Not that the peole sailing in the 1870's had GPS guidance systems or a well-stocked and managed food galley, bit it's interesting to ponder nonetheless. I don't believe the past is a place we can get in a spaceship and fly to. It is a thing that exists in our minds and as an imprint on the world, but not a place we can visit (unless Einstein is wrong, and that dude is smarter even than Bush!).
The last time I sailed on Taber, Mandy and I had just been married two months prior. It was our long-awaited Honeymoon, and I spent most of the time considering the new path I had started. I was married, happily, but I didn't know what it meant or how it would affect me in the long-run. The trip was a great time to air out cobwebs in my brain get some sense of perspective.
I carried with me a copy of "Quicksilver" by the amazingly talented post cyber-punk author Neil Stephenson. It is the first part of a trilogy of books called The Baroque Cycle that mine the Enlightenment (the period of time around the 1650s-1750s where people like Newton and Leibniz and William of Orange redesigned the way the world works) for essential truths about the world we now inhabit. It is filled with romance, science, intrigue, and plenty of swashbuckling adventure. The book, like the experience of sailing on the Taber, deeply affected me. In many ways, the combined affects of reading Quicksilver while sailing on the Taber changed the way I view the world.
So, now, on the precipice of another trip to meet the Taber and sail her through the Atlantic, I am again at the beginning of a new path. Mandy and I, married still, and happily, are changing our nearly ten year old careers. We've moved across the country to live in the mountains like crazy people and are considering the next big moves in our lives. I have the next volume of The Baroque Cycle, "The Confusion" in hand and am ready to clear out the webs.
We'll be back on the 9th with plenty of pictures and updates. 'Till then, if you need to get in touch with us call and leave a message on our cell phone.
"Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars until I die. "