Archive for the ‘sailing’ Category

hello friend,

i’ve been sailing and motoring the inways, byways and channels around st. augustine this week!  in between nursing others in my family, and attending to bizness as usual, i had to do something to blow out the steam, and … sailing, being on the water, is one of my passions, as well as laughing, dancing, being with great groovy people, traveling, learning new things, writing stories and making art. whew! so many passions.

st. augustine lighthouse seen from the Ace Lady, a friend's sailboat

st. augustine lighthouse seen from sailboat Ace Lady

my passions are many.  some have more.  some…only politics, it seems these days.  whatever yours are, i hope you enjoy pursuing them.  and if you haven’t, or haven’t made time to pursue them, i urge you to do that … like now!

take the owner of Ace Lady, for instance:

Captain Priscilla of Ace Lady at the helm

Captain Priscilla of Ace Lady at the helm

Priscilla is a single woman, an expert solo sailor, self confident and extremely capable, who is following her dream.  priscilla puts everything she has into making sure that dream of hers comes true: owning and operating a sturdy, ocean-going sailboat.  it’s not easy, what priscilla is doing, because the maintenance alone (not to mention the sailing) of such a vessel is … well, beyond comprehension to most landlubbers, such as we.  but priscilla finds the time (in between a successful massage therapy business) to maintain her boat, sail it near and far, chartering it out as much as possible (see www.aceladysails.com for more info).  i greatly admire people like priscilla.  they defy the odds, and make sure their dreams become reality.  bravo priscilla!!

this anchored boat, with its mast under repair, represents another sailor’s passion: as demonstrated by the bedazzling woodworking you see everywhere onboard, representing hundreds of hours of labor-intensive savvy!

every scrap of wood is passionately cared for

every scrap of wood is passionately cared for

even this boat owner’s dingys are exquisitely varnished.  he was down below, no doubt, sanding or applying his loving craft to another woody surface, whistling, happy.  following his passion.

and you?  what’s your passion?  are you at least thinking of how you’ll be able to honor that passion today?  even if, like myself, some days you just can’t.  but no matter how stresed or strained we are, at least we can plan on how our passions will evolve some other day, if we’re busy with other things.  because, as we all know, the unfolding of our realities all start with the thoughts we hold continuously in our minds.

as for my passions:  this week i’ve had to put my love (honestly, it’s an out-and-out obsession) of writing and arting to one side to make space to care-take my mom (still recovering from her T.I.A.), and also husband Carter, who didn’t do what i did when i felt “the bug” invade my body last week (we both got it).  i rested, he didn’t.  i’m not as sick, he’s dog-dead-in-the-ditch sick.  i chose to not do as much and he’s paying the price, poor baby (guys! what is it about guys?!).  for a few days i had to put my passions on hold, to heal myself.  and here i am now, nurse lordflea, nursing others, making sure mom takes her meds; making chamomile tea with honey and lemon in the middle of the night for carter, and yesterday,  a big pot of chicken soup bubbling on the stove, with lots of homeopathic remedies at the bedside of the sick co-captain of our ship, called relation.  for the moment at least, my passion for arting (which most definitely includes writing) is put aside for the good of the bigger picture.

but…my passion of being one with the Divine…is never put on hold.  THAT i can do, whether i’m busy, sick, traveling, or involved with others’ passions, projects, or peculiar personalities:

Sufi Bird...flying as high as he can, as i try

Sufi Bird...flying as high as he can, as i try

here’s another shot of the gorgeous st. augustine lighthouse, which has always been one of my passions in life, and also, in my art:

the lighthouse, in reality

the lighthouse, in reality

and here you can see how my passion evokes another way of “seeing” st. augustine’s lighthouse:

Buddha's Foot; from the lighthouse series

Buddha's Foot, from the lighthouse series

in this series, i take the st. augustine lighthouse, which has always been a personal icon of mine, representing a tower of strength and courage, and use it here to remind me to follow my passion, to do whatever i have to do to take my journey of searching for Truth to the next level.  i use the lighthouse along with other universal, recognizable archetypes (painted in the small squares, surrounded by the matrix of space, time, and matter) as focus.  these paintins are reminders, meant to evoke humankind’s aspiring to a greater good (this is MY political activism, folks!).  just as we awake from a profound, prescient dream and only remember an image, a fragment of it here and there throughout the day, i attempt to portray in this series the remnants of a very real, very tangible inner remembrace: the images hint of who we really are, and where our spiritual journey (of the entire human race, mean) is taking us.  we run into these reminders, always, but do we stop to notice them?  bits and pieces of startling landscape, a word from a stranger, an angelic message on a bus ad, a glistening majestic river, a long road beckoning us to follow.  this series is about our path.  other places, other states of being-ness yet to explore.  here’s another of my lighthouse series, this one depicting an altogether different landscape. 

Moon Beach

Moon Beach

for years i used to run along st. augustine beach, and watch the lighthouse as it grew steadily more prominent.  i was always eager to see it rising over the sandy, sea oats-strewn dunes.  the closer i came to the lighthouse, the more excited i got.  my body would shiver, my breath felt sharper.  i was sure i felt the same as, and fully understood the significance of being “guided” that desperate sailors out at sea must have felt, whenever they sighted a lighthouse with the surrounding seas rough, the night dark, and the way, treacherous.  that’s my inspiration behind making this series.  i chose the lighthouse as my main motif, along with more recognizable totems of great impact, both spiritual and cultural, to convey a strong a message of hope to others.  this particular lighthouse, the one at st. augustine, has always been a beacon of inner strength in my own life.  here’s another of the series.

Shiva's Dance

Shiva's Dance

today, on blog lordflea, it seems to be: honor the Light Within Day!!  yes, that’s a passion of mine!  maybe you’ll feel the excitement i carry in my heart for the unseen Light we all carry within, by gazing at my lighthouse series.  i hope you enjoy them.  here’s the final in the series, as i wish you adieu, a very groovy day, enjoying whatever passion you happen to be engaged in at this very moment!

love from your pal, lord flea

Ghost Tree

Ghost Tree

hi everyOne,

we’re baaaa-ck! back from sailing the gorgeous, wild, mystical, mysterious, and oh-so-weird southern coast of newfoundland.

fog, gale, or doldrums...take your pick!

fog, gale, or doldrums...take your pick!

two weeks away! many books read:

  • my third read of “Eat Pray Love” — enjoyed it even more this time around
  • “A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night,” the Dalai Lama’s interpretation of an ancient text on how to be a bodhisattva, the Bodhicharyavatara by the sage Shantideva
  • “Bird by Bird,” some instructions on writing and life, by Anne Lamott
  • the Upanishads, which i must say i didn’t understand hardly, perhaps one minute iota, and
  • a couple trash novels which i only seem to enjoy on long, endless days aboard a sailboat
sunset at anchor

sunset at anchor

 

we were a crew of five:

  • lordflea and carter (american)
  • captain petur (iclandic) and his lady rhea (american)
  • malde (danish)
some crew of yacht Dagny

some crew of yacht Dagny

and oh, let’s not forget the boat’s doggie, Scrappy, the queen of Dagny (pronounced dine-ee, an Iclandic name for girls meaning “new dawn”).

scrappy with her best friend, rhea

scrappy with her best friend, rhea

the retired fishing captain from iceland….Petur, our boat’s captain: the man who –without even blinking an eye–sailed our 70 foot yacht through an inlet’s tiny hole, one that looked to any other like we were surely headed for deadly rocks; the man who senses change in current, weather or wind, or any other sea conditions, long before news comes over the airwaves:

captain petur peturson, seaman extraordinaire

captain petur peturson, seaman extraordinaire

and finally, the young (19 years old) Danish mathematician, Malte (pro-nounced in English, mal‘-dah) who is having himself a fine adventure  sailing Dagny from Newfoundland to the Caribbean, before going off to college, back in Denmark:

the modern viking, a young dane named malte

the modern viking, a young dane named malte

our time aboard dagny was filled with the pleasures of simplifying our complicated lives: living in a small space, sharing that space with others, cooking simple delicious nutritious food (lots of cookouts on the shore, next to one magnificent waterfall after the next), and, most importantly, getting quiet in the mind.

it took us about three days to quiet ourselves from the hustlin’ pace of living in the fast lane (well…. let’s face it, anywhere in the good ol’ U.S.A. is much faster than anywhere else, to live).

i’ll have more to say about my experiences in newfoundland in my upcoming posts.

before leaving for our sail i made it a goal of mine to spend some time after returning to learn how to get this blog of mine out into the public’s eye. so that’s what i’ll be learning in these next weeks. always something to learn! always! i’m also working on my spanish, something i’ve been enjoying and speaking more and more over the past years, but…unless i practice daily, it all goes out the window (there was not much opportunity of speaking spanish up in “the rock” as the newfies call their country).

this life is so filled with possible adventures…all we have to do, like malte, my new friend from denmark, is to pack our bags and hop aboard a boat and go somewhere new. of course not all of us can do that, literally. but we can, however, metaphorically do it. we can “pack our bags” by making a decision to make space in our lives for something new. we can “hop aboard a boat” by setting a goal, then unfurl our sails (by choosing to direct our energies toward that special something new) and … finally … we’re cast off, setting out on our new life adventure, simply by one day deciding to do it!

go somewhere new, somewhere different!

go somewhere new, somewhere different!

breathe…enjoy…take a chance and go some place different (in your mind, at least!) that you’ve always wanted to go. you CAN do it! how? just by giving yourself permission to do so. and then…surround yourself with people, situations, affirmations, visualizations, activities, etc. that reinforce the positive decision, and the adventurous destination you’ve chosen.

congratulations on opening your mind, opening your heart.

lordflea with daphne...we are all capable of being living a mythical journey...just do IT!!

lordflea with daphne...we are all capable of living a mythical journey...just choose, and then do it!! don't think! just do.

how exciting it is to experience something totally, absolutely, mind-blowingly different from what we know as “normal everyday life.” what an incredible adventure life is, this journey, with you all as my fellow crewmembers. i’m very thrilled to be alive, especially at this time, this amazing time when so many vital things are happening that will forever influence the evolutionary course of all humankind. think about that for a moment, why don’t cha?

with love, in the Light, your pal lordflea

greetings,

the biggest enjoyment in my life is to be at sea. i simply adore the roar and the pulse and the movement, the flow of the ocean. the sea was my first spiritual teacher. i am at one with the sea when i am near Her, on Her, in Her.

being a sailor of the seven seas, here’s one of the ways i’ve expressed that nearness to the sea:

benevolent sea, benevolent storm

benevolent sea, benevolent storm

 

we’re off on another sailing adventure, this time to Newfoundland! we’ll be aboard a sturdy 70 footer, with our dear friends who gypsy around on this planet’s true medium, the Sea. they’ll be meeting us at the Deer Lake airport. hopefully we’ll find some nice isolated coves that will be a safe anchorage for our boat, and we’ll have opportunities to hike and camp, and get to know the “Newfies” as they call themselves.

be well, blog-friends, i’ll be back in two weeks! ship ahoy!

in the Light, lordflea

hi everyone,

for a while there we all felt like singing, to the melody of “the twelve days of Christmas”…on the fourth day of Fay-ay, my true love gave to me. but then she (the hurricane that dissipated into a tropical storm) finally inched her way westward. we had mucho precipitation, but thankfully no major damage.

basically, Fay was a snoozer.

even if she had decided to become a tyrannical twister-sister killer of a tempest, this is what i did, as i always do, in face of any hurricane approaching — big or small, fast or slow (these storms are so unpredictable–a tropical storm today can be a killer in the next few hours).

  • fill my bathtub with water (most important of all!)
  • check to make sure i have lots of flashlights, and batts
  • cook until my ass falls off, or the fresh food is used up, so we have nicely prepared, good tasting, healthy food instead of canned stuff
  • lash down or bring in anything that can fly away
  • stay inside to not get my head sliced off by others’ flying debris
  • have a pile of good books, magazines, and a deck of cards close by for all the hours of waiting waiting waiting that any storm demands
  • remember to LAUGH and have fun, even when the winds get crazy (you can always build another house, but staying alive is the point!)

once those preparations are done, i practice the most difficult thing of all, which i spoke of in my last post — let go let God.

storm waters flooding, a challenge for all to remain calm when things get drastic

storm waters flooding, a challenge for all to remain calm when things get drastic

by God of course i mean “Good-Orderly-Direction” not any anthropomorphic bearded deity in the sky, or beyond. another way of saying this is, as one of my yoga teachers says, ‘let go let good.’

i always thought the name God must have come from the word good. but my source book for etymology (study of where words originate), the Chambers dictionary (published in the U.K.) says, “from a Germanic root guth, God, and quite distinct from good.”  so if anyone happens to know more specific origins of this ubiquitous name for the Supreme Being, this name we say in English, God, I’d be very curious. thanks. I’ve tried googling it, but it’s very confusing, this word. it’s just another name, anyway, for an totally incomprehensible thought, a Divine Being such as Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Deus, etc. the names given for this concept in all the many tongues of humankind.

a young friend of mine, Marshall, who also practices meditation, and has found guidance in the awareness teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, happened to ask me this question yesterday, which i thought most provocative. i wish i had had the insight to ask this question, when i was first started off on my spiritual journey. but i wasn’t so lucky to find a trusted teacher until much later than Marshall.

as we spoke of living the spiritual life Marshall asked me: “what about doubt?” to which i could only answer that, for me, the decision to embrace the Truth that this life we all live is a spiritual one, and we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, is based on my inner experiences. when i began to sit for meditation it was the first step in taking the most important journey of my life. the places i journey to inwardly are unspeakably beautiful, fulfilling, and blissfully all-encompassing. meditation is the best way i’ve found to plug into the true energy of this existence we call life. we only have our own experiences to rely on, really.

we have all the answers, all the proof, within our own Inner Self

we have all the answers, all the proof, within our own Inner Self

BUT…and i forgot to mention this to Marshall (i hope he reads it here) i am very fortunate to have had another source of reference, that, years ago, put my ever-questioning mind at rest about whether or not this life really is about tuning into the spiritual, psychic, ineffable energy surrounding us. this experience of mine came at the moment of my father’s death, from cancer. i was with him at the end. he had always been a self-proclaimed agnostic, never sure of anything concerning the God-question. when he finally arrived at the end of his disease-destroying struggle, Dad began to leave his body. his consciousness would just … slip away, quite literally. i was there in the room with him to witness his uncanny sojourns into other realms, planes-of-being to which i could not venture, and could hardly fathom.

Dad was swaying as if flying, with his arms out-spread, making coo-ing noises that sounded enjoyable, on his part. i was quite startled, looking at this big, generally down-to-earth man with an oxygen tube hooked up to his nose, all six-feet-five of him, looming over his bed as if he were a gigantic Icarus in earthbound-flight. all i could do was just sit and watch, and make sure Dad didn’t fall and hurt himself. it was quite evident he wasn’t in his “right mind” because his eyes were totally out of focus. he didn’t respond when i called his name. it was as if he were in another realm altogether, from the one we shared, physically, in that little bedroom in St. Augustine, Florida.

after some time, Dad folded his “wings” and gradually sank gently onto the bed. i got him lying prone, and comfortable. then i sat by his head, waiting, watching. slowly, i saw the flicker of consciousness return to his eyes. with his eyes wide opened, and obviously, again “conscious,” he turned to me and firmly but softly said, without the least hint of disbelief:

“it really is true. we are all one. what a shame some people don’t get to know it until too late.”

when dad finally came all the way back into his body, i was there, sitting patiently, waiting. until he recognized me at his side, i was tingling with the sensation that my father had given me such a gift! a gift by virtue of me witnessing his experience. i felt like a journalist who objectively sees, then later reports, a factual event. my heart and mind were filled with bursting energy–call it gratitude, call it an epiphany–whatever it was it was BIG, because my dad, in his pre-death flight plan-check, had inadvertantly shown me PROOF of something i had only suspected all my life. that we are, indeed, all ONE.

Dad finally noticed me sitting by his side. he had spoken no words yet since his uncanny pronouncement. it was as if he were awakening from a long nap. i gently said, “hey dad, do you remember what just happened?” he shook his head no. i said, “well you just went off on some kind of trip. maybe you went scouting, out of your sick body to where you’re headed for next, i don’t know, but you said:”

‘it really is true: we are all one. what a shame some people don’t get to know it until too late.’

Dad’s eyes grew wide. he looked at me, who simply reported what he had himself just said, what he had just witnessed. he believed me. he had to.

my very own father looked at me, amazed beyond belief. “no kidding’ he said. “i said that?” i wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d added, “son of a bitch!” but instead, he remained silent, thinking, wondering …

to this day i accept that experience with my father as a special gift i was given by him, of witnessing his psyche preparing to pass into the next realm (he left his body for good the very next afternoon). for two reasons i believe this experience a benevolent gift: first to give him, my Dad, assurance and comfort, in his quickly approaching passing-over, by the mere fact of my being able to report back to him what he’d told me, what he himself saw and experienced, this ONENESS he spoke of. it was he who had seen IT, felt IT, experienced IT; that fact alone must have given my dad as much comfort as i, a mere reporter, a bystander.

and secondly, i feel that my father gave me the gift of truly believing in something that, up until Dad’s handing me this undeniable PROOF, had been about me having faith that we are all One. true, i’d already suspected as much, from my nothing-less-than-cosmic meditation experiences, but — just like everyone who thinks about these things — you really have to rely upon faith, because Oneness is not scientifically prove-able (not yet! but i hear scientists are closing in on the metaphysics).

for me, i have more than faith. i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything is connected, thanks to Dad, thanks to trusting my own inner experiences i continuously have, both in and out of a “formal” meditative state. all of life becomes a higher awareness, when we see, feel, and imbibe the Truth, the Oneness of All. we are all part of the web of life, and everything that happens to One, happens to all.  

in my next post i want to talk about the importance of keeping things LIGHT, how laughter and joy are true signals of right spiritual understanding. with all this information i share with you, i give it with love, with my blessings, but also remind everyone that having spiritual experiences makes one’s life filled with tremendous energy: we have entered the realm of great mysteries, and remarkably genuine joy. that true inner bliss is what all humans have as our birth-rights is part of the Mystery. all we have to do is reach within our own beings to discover we’ve had that joy all along. and then we can laugh and enjoy the play … the Oneness.

the waterfall of life; we are all like drops of water within the Flow of Oneness -- enjoy the ride, and smile with the pleasure of being-cared-for

the waterfall of life; we are all like drops of water within the Flow of Oneness -- enjoy the ride, and smile with the pleasure of being-cared-for

if i don’t get to make another post soon, you’ll know it’s because i leave on tuesday (day after tomorrow) to join friends up in Newfoundland on their 70 foot sailboat. we’ll be exploring the southern coast of that glorious Canadian country, anchoring in isolated coves, backpacking and camping whenever we can safely leave the boat. i’ll bring my camera, but there is no phone service, and no computers where we will be. i’ll let you know how our adventure goes when i return.

meanwhile, know that i send love and Light to each and every one of you, lordflea

singing our song of Oneness

“it really is true. WE ARE ALL ONE. what a shame some people don’t get to know it until too late.” 

we are all ONE

we are all ONE