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July 20th, 2010

Seafaring spirit

"In my younger days, I applied for a midshipman's warrant, which thanks to my stars, I did not obtain. Now nothing could induce me to wear damp linen all my life, roll about a ship in the day and breath the same air a the whole night, as seafaring men are compelled to do."



From page 1 of J. Johnston Pettigrew's travel diary (Subseries 3.3; Folder 525) in the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Aha! I knew that we had a lot in common :)

Let it rain

Green-leafed trees sway in the hesitant breeze. Shadow-speckled clouds pass overhead across a grey sky. Here, a drop of rain taps. There, a splash of dew wets my hand. I rub the palms together, creamy skin faintly lit by the lights of the neighboring living rooms. It's quiet outside. An ant crawls over the glass of the window. My skin soaks in the air, my eyes soak in the distant space. Ah, air and space! How still and mean the buildings look against the gently bending morning glory leaves. How my person savors the freedom - away from glaring computer screens, away from cubical walls.

After eating, I found that I wanted to fall on the sofa with headphones for the rest of the night, playing through old CDs. So weary of all thought.

Yet something else in my heart tugged. Guilt seeped between the cracks. After working all day in a silent, isolated corner, should I further isolate myself within walls of sound where no one can reach me and where I can reach no one?

Restless and weary, I stepped outside to water the plants. Suddenly, the walls fell away and my eyes looked about to see mounting skies and rattling branches. Creation! One breath of the outside atmosphere revived me more than hours of CDs. Days upon days of problem-solving, reporting, data analysis, file formatting, documentation, and typed communication take more of a toll than I know. My flesh longs to stand outside under the sky, gazing at the work of the Creator, instead of at my feeble handiwork. Earlier, I realized that today I did not actually speak with my voice until nearly lunch time. My mind is constantly set in motion, strained by the work and driven by my curiosity; but the rest of me...it is sometimes lost in the day.

I left my glasses inside and sat on the step. Here a drop. There a sprinkle. Rain like petals fall quietly and softly. "Rain on my skin...Let it rain...down on me."

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