White Spots of a Fawn

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It already exists … Jack and Francis walk out the door into the white clouds of lakes covering the new earth of a Febuary winter as the third falcon leaves the rooftop behind them . The peregrine , more than eight million years old , his ancestor once in Athens listening to an apostle give his speech on the steps of the Areopagus : ” And he has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined their pre appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings , so that they should seek the Lord , in the hope that they might grope for Him and find him , though He is not far from each of us “. With the rapture circling above in the path of a wind’s mandala , Jack introduces Francis to the silent land of his home , his barn , the deer tracks , the squirrel nests , the Maple City sky , introducing her as if she were the rarest thing that lived . He shows her the tree with a skirt on , growing out of a stump . What is happening ? Francis thinks she should at least kneel down for in Michigan , the trees talk and the mighty Hemlock , soaring to great heights , only drops its needles to the floor of blue shade every three years where in rich humerus a doe might give birth to its fawn . And if the tree dies , it keeps healing as a host of reishi mushroom lives on the dead wood , life abounding death . There are hidden passages venturing into new lands , lands that have been together for millennia , even the streams have underground paths deep below flowing into the Great Lakes . In the silence , the voice of an Indian warrior’s horse can sometimes be heard , a legendary voice carried by the wind , ” I am from the void where Answer lives , ride on my back and know the power of entering darkness and finding the light “.

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Francis , remaining still in the sun , stares at the movement of animal tracks while Jack walks on with his saw to cut down a tree for their wood stove . She is caught by a mirage , an atmospheric refraction of green light from last nights sunset , a flash that sparks thoughts of Bulgaria , where one year ago , just after Jack so unexpectedly had given her a wrapped gift for Christmas as they left the restaurant with friends , she found herself in a foreign country . Could she remember her total journey ? Can anyone ? Francis remains in the quiet , not moving . She feels on the divide of knowing , of knowing a destiny with unusual dimensions , layers of mystery yet uncharted about to see the map . Finding herself suddenly in the memory of her friend Hariod’s questioning voice , ” Did the ” fleeing horse ” find her inner light after arriving in Bulgaria ?” , she knew the answer to be , “yes” , the world a mystic realm with landscapes of beforehand . Now she answers Hariod’s , “What Happened “? , with a soliloquy … ” I hear pieces come hesitantly forward , a foreshadowing , every once in a while . Writing it holds many clues that in a strange way , makes truth and melody out of my life , human and spiritual , past and future . The land of Bulgaria , the earth , brought me a gift of some kind I know not how to explain … I wandered alone for five months , walking the farms , the valleys and hills and was transformed as if I were a creature , one with nature and animals , a soul with a body that could see wind and all of life breathing … and love , well , love was everywhere .”

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The dirt road was her Mandela , the one in the Baltic village and the one too , in Glen Arbor when she first saw Jack as she walked , barefoot , in a summer dress and he leaned forward in the passenger seat of her friends stopped car . A circle of eternity and infinity , a circle around a pentagram , a circle touching all five points , spirit , earth , air , water and fire , all connected and a single point upwards where the falcon soars . Behold , a scene of freedom , of nomadic spirit , a driving force that thrives and carries us in life with an emotional ability to go on in life , a sense of life , of knowing a deep truth , a life where exists lands of enchantment , instinctive and tamed , erotic and endearing . A life where your face is my face . Here lies Cemetary Road , where all of life leads her , colored bottles and trinkets in the distance shining from a branch above the grave of a young boy hit by a car . Do Jack and Francis exist with hearts beating like a drum , keeping time with everthing ? And look , once more , down the road as the black horse in the pasture becomes Pegasus or the unicorn in the twinkling of an eye . ” Behold , I make all things new “. Life is listening , listening … always listening .

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Francis still in a trance in a world of snow, hears life answer , forming a list of her days mixed together in orbit , clearly a carton of eggs broken .

1. Childhood fright : afraid to leave her mother , clutching her young mother’s skirt edge . Thunder storms , sweating under the blankets with open windows . Nightmares of underwater creatures .

2. Loneliness : Leaving school early and walking in a red mini-dress across the city , being followed by 2 men who yell obscenities and try to grab her .

3. Smell of sour milk : A husband violates her because of a religions teaching a duty of submission .

4. Threats : Family to commit her if she divorces and take away her children .

5 . Humiliation : She watches her mother in matching hat , shoes and jewelry , visit her brother in prison and pretending to others that everything is ” just fine ” .

6. Destruction : The barn studio on fire that she might have caused , a secret so horrible . ( the flames that warm winter day seen miles away , the only thing found in the ashes , old copies of magazine pages floating in the sky like burnt feathers all over the county ).

7. Death : Her beloved husband of 8 years dying in their bed .

8. Suicide : Her step-son hangs himself on an open pipe in his NYC studio , his dog whimpering for days .

9. Betrayal : Friend who cons and steals the land that was her son’s inheritance.

10: Violence : Man she knows , cuts her with a razor blade in his mouth while forcing himself on her .

11. Obsession : Knife held to her throat after being beaten , threatening to kill her if she leaves him .

12 . Heartbreak : Death of her parents and loss of daughter-in-law who leaves family for another man .

Francis sees Jack coming back to her . Her mind letting it all go as she touches her skin under the heavy jacket and sweater , soft , her soft skin as if it were the belly of a fawn . . She hears the blue glass wind-chime of that Christmas gift … ” I was a hidden treasure and loved to be known . Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known “. ( Sufi)  “The former things are passed away ” … Tomorrow is the first day of March 2015 . In ancient times March was the beginning of the new year and the glaciers that formed the Great Lakes were covered in snow a mile deep . And now she hears comments , yes , your comments , voices that welcome her out of the background , out of the room full of blues and the photograph of her grandmother at age 18 sits next to Jack’s pile of cowboy hats and his small bags of wildflower seeds … Freedom , freedom unfolding in the moment of “now ” . She leans back gently , gently against the tree , Jack is finished with his work , the falcon nowhere in sight and the fox sleeping . The epiphany swells and Francis with heavenly forms beating red her heart knows she is finished writing – a strange story that already exists …a screenplay living on planet earth , earth , a place of children who have asked to be born … trees , trees of awe their cradles , our wellsprings , our dawn .

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Personal note : I am so grateful and blessed by all of you who comment and I want you to know that in hearing you , I heal and am encouraged on my journey and know we are connected thru a glorious golden thread . .. Thankyou : Janet , Denise , Dan , Hariod , Michael , Chris , Cyan , Mark , Meredith , Julie , Vanessa , Christine , Chrissy , John ,  Aquileana , Diana , Dina , Tony , Tia , Marga , Sue , Mino , Laurent , Christy , Jo , Zula , Shimon , Sean , Nina , Leyla , Lorrie , Raj , Semra , Sonmi, Ellen , Ax , Norm , Annedaria , Amy ,Don , Ewian , Leanne , Sister Madly , and all that I haven’t mentioned who follow …

note: girl standing by Aela Labbe Photographie

Beatitude Point – part 2 ( 2014 ) – Alec … impossible to shake

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Scientist are now able to freeze light for one entire minute . I watched her walk in the door , her clothing wet with rain dropping from her like champagne sparkle . I’ve never seen her here before … she is an element of surprise , a soft metal – aahh , mercury … atomic liquid puddles in her eyes . She stands in a blush of vulnerability in the cubicle where the table lamp on the menu podium shines it’s beams reflecting in those  eyes . Eyes like passwords with secret lives – pathos , mischief , poetry , mantras , a hidden shrine to a lost love and perhaps even an inside joke to herself . She wears a man’s hat , a black felt hat that makes her so over – the – top feminine . If you happen to wonder just where she came from you would have to walk along a narrow cobblestone street and into a private courtyard and then around a corner … and still it would remain a mystery as to which exact door she had emerged from to now be walking along M-22 near Glen Arbor and entering this modern bar and grill where the music of 2001 : A Space Odyssey drifts away outside the bars entrance  as she steps into the reality of Saturday nights noise on this stormy night , 2014 , in this mid-western town …. two worlds , two men .

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Paulo and I didn’t really expect her to accept our previous invitation , a lame one at that , spoken so off handedly to her yesterday in the cafe . We didn’t really think she would just show up … so I was naturally excited that she did . Paulo hadn’t noticed her arrival yet as I stared rather un politely while she remained standing still and alone . And then it happened , she looked at Paulo and he at her and I witnessed the two of them meet at that very moment even if neither of them quite realized it . Feeling myself on a thrashing coastline between nowhere and nowhere and wanting to break the spell ( for you see I’ve fallen for her ) I raise my hand and yell out , ” Francis , over here “! Gretchen , my love , turns towards me and I’m nervous , very nervous for them to meet . Francis walks over shaking off her damp fur coat and as I take it from her , clumsy me , she smiles . ” Francis , this is Gretchen . Gretchen , Francie .( slip of the tongue ) I could sense Gretchens mind as it flew out of its nest about to get caught in the net of strangeness that was Francis ‘ aura .

” Excuse me  please ” said as she leaves to greet her brother .

” She’s rather haunted isn’t she “, Gretchen whispers in my ear . We grab our drinks , hers Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic and mine Brokers London straight up and move to the round table to join Paulo , Dave and Francis as tonight’s band is setting up under the luminosity of ordinary things – the water tower outside , the mahogany bar top , black leather stools , bottles of peach , citron , blue , mandarine and ruby red Absolute in rows on the mirrored shelf .

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Photo of water tower by Leannecolephotography.com

” What is it you like “? Gretchen asks Francis , offering to order her a drink .

” bare feet ”  – a slight pause as we all look at eachother and suddenly a one word conversation ensues between them while the rest of us withdraw not knowing quite where this mystic force of words will lead . Poor Dave just shakes his head .

” dresses on the beach , wearing one when everyone else has on a bikini ”

” vintage clothes ” answers Francis

” big city hotel rooms , tall windows , blankets ”

” white sheets on a clothes line , quiet men on the outskirts ”

” used bars of soap , pencils ”

” new sketchbooks , old ones too , tents and rugs ”

” country mailboxes ”

” suitcases ”

” foreign films ”

” wind , stones ”

” snow ”

” wedding veils , deer , music ”

” yes , music ”

” record album covers ” … and then they pause , look at the rest of us and laugh together !

As the band begins playing a Smokey Robinson song a lower key mood hovers above our table then follows Paulo as he stands and silently leads Francis to the dance floor while he removes her hat , throwing it over to me . There are signs when a person is looking for love even if at first it seems unlikely . You will be her hero when you look into her eyes … you will rescue her from loneliness . Love is impossible to shake … and music , well , music is the closest thing to love . And now my friend is dancing with her , and slow dancing at that … on and on and on .

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Hunting season opened today . Some animals are protected , wolverines , wolves , Lynx , moose , cougars , fox , mother bears and cubs . I wish Francis was ! I would kneel in worship at her remoteness . She is a quiet woman , not so much shy , as a world unto herself , always watching she keeps her own counsel . She is differant and I sense an interior purpose , an outline already sketched in her head . She has to do everything herself as if she were the first woman in a new world . She doesn’t smile a lot but she’s not sad . And like a top shelf , she is hard for me to reach . Paulo told me that when he tried to photograph her he could sense her discomfort so he asked her to keep her eyes closed . I saw one of these portraits and it was artistically stunning .

There are 100 million worlds in our Milky Way Galaxy , 500 billion of them in our universe . This was the week that shook me , where tornados of solar wind connected planets to space and formed windows in the planets magnetic shield … and where a single day on planet Mercury is equall to 176 days on earth . Winter is coming soon . I will tell Paulo that flowers matter – how many , what kind , how they are bestowed , how they are received , a bouquet clutched or one thrown away …

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Music playing during scene : ” Be My Baby ” by the Ronettes

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Personal note : A bouquet of wild flowers for my dear blog friends who continuously show me the love on this awestruck journey we all share together … Thank you xx

Beatitude Point # 7

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven “. . . Matthew 5:1

He is driven by a strange desire . Someone is calling . It could have been George Harrison – yes , from The Beatles , those ” long-hairs ” this middle age man detests – it could have been George with his guitar , his tune dropped on Dave’s dad from the clouds above Charlevoix that might have drifted like a paper boat from across the Atlantic .

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping

While my guitar gently weeps

I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping

Still my guitar gently weeps .

I don’t know why nobody told you

How to unfold your love

I don’t know how someone controlled you

They bought and sold you .

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning

While my guitar gently weeps

Every mistake , we must surely be learning

Still my guitar gently weeps .

I don’t know how you were diverted

You were perverted too

I don’t know how you were inverted

No one alerted you

I look at you all , see the love there that’s sleeping

While my guitar gently weeps

I look at you all

Still my guitar gently weeps .

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Here lays the port of Charlevoix , named after a French explorer who stayed one night during a harsh storm.

Charlevoix , where fossilized corals from the abyss have been rounded into pebbles by rivers and seas . Here Dave Sr. stands on the dock , stands looking out at the Great Lake , stands tired after driving his car for eight hours , stands in his shiny wing tips , rakish in appearance , a furniture salesman , standing small and often being mistake n as Italian with his dark angled face , large nose , black hair – the “bad-boy” image still imprinted from his younger days . He stands like he once stood searching for planes while a private on a Navy ship during WW2 . Just the previous year in 1971 an air force plane had crashed right here in these waters during a practice bomb run , exploding on impact , nine crew men died .

Where is his son ? …his oldest son named not only after him but also his own father . He knows they have planned to pick up a spare part here for their boat . Who is this son now that he has left home , left the dinner table and the golf course they both love . He worries yet feels pride rising like a singular wave at this boys independence and courage . This is the paradox of having adult children , this is the pain and pleasure , the oldest daughter , the one he doesn’t understand but who owns his heart , just married , pregnant with his first grandchild … his other son a “screw-up” with no job , lazy attitude , sleeping till noon … And then the joy of his ” late-in-life” little angel girl , a gentle resettling .

He stands with a head ache , loud like the sea singing hallelujah , memories annoying his mind , memories of the party the night before the boys left . He stands and hours pass , his gaze from sea to ground and he hangs his head and sighs , a slight tremble in his hands . A tremble like a mistake that won’t leave him troubles him , has troubled him for a long time . He thinks of his wife , still angry with him with a silence as cold as winter rain . Lost in anger , lost like a dropped handkerchief in a dark movie theatre , she has forgotten the attraction of their first meeting , his being the same age as their son is now . They met at the roller rink , her looking like his favorite actress , Lee Remick . He was wild , she was calm . But now she is weeping behind their bedroom door over his bad behavior at last weeks party . The party she so carefully prepared for with an overly clean house , new tablecloth to match the draperies , appetizers ordered from the chef at the country club , good silverware polished and a new dress bought from that boutique downtown that makes her look like she belongs in that new movie , “Diamonds are Forever”. . . and music chosen , a surprise to him that she likes Diana Ross and the Supremes !

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He stands , feeling his heart tumbling , tumbling like dice at the memory . He stands on this grey dock . Is that smoke he spots over the water … is that the devil ? He silently recites the Lords Prayer , the only one he ever says . He sits on the empty beach but the earth is a swelling ocean and he will find himself feeling seasick for many years .

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Showing up three hours late , the guests already eating , the music playing , the girls in mini-skirts chatting like a group of hungry seagulls , he enters . “OK ” , he shouts , throwing his overcoat on the floor , his eyes glazed like a deep ocean shark from the earths belly . The room is silent , the room is embarrassed at this fathers humiliation . He is drunk , he is late for his sons Bon voyage and he is drunk . Many there are unaware of his affliction and the pastor from the church stands now , watching with compassion at this disease of this mans soul – this poverty of spirit . Heard like gale warnings from shore , Dave continues from the center of the room  , ” OK , OK everyone , if any of these boys make a phone call home , anyone of them , do not refuse their calls , do you all here me ” ? He smiles , smiles trying to seem agreeable . ” I don’t know how they are going to cook and eat , they are just boys and don’t know much “!

Buzz’ mom try’s to cover the awkwardness and responds , ” Buzz is a cook “!

“Well Evelyne , how does he know he’s a cook “!

” Because I taught him ” , she answers , dumbfounded .

Slowly the room begins to move at this fathers pain and weariness , the guests flowing with this new energy of kindness preparing to leave with well wishes for everyone . Something has been endangered tonight – some chose not to ponder this , but for those who do , their thoughts are sobering , just having witnessed a capsizing and hoping for the survival of their friends dignity . A sunken ship they pray will sail smooth and free again . This man , this father , this friend of theirs , an anxious character hiding behind a diving mask .

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The words of Jesus and George Harrison merge from the heavens . Someone is calling . ” The age of the universe is about 13.75 billion years . The diameter of the observable universe is estimated at about 28 billion parsecs ( 93 billion light years ) as a reminder , a light year is a unit of length equal to about 6 trillion miles )”

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Chris’ Journal … Thursday , 9-21-1972

I awoke at 9:00 am and proceeded to relieve myself and do what I could for a throbbing head ache , in that order . I returned from the head to find all hands still sacked out so I too returned to that unconscious bliss . Dave woke me up again at 10:30 looking for a key . For lunch and breakfast we ate the hamburger left over from Glen Arbor , the previous nights supper .

It’s  only a buck seventy-five a night here and Dale put down five bucks figuring through Saturday . Dave bought an ice fishing pole in Manistee and a combination perch and coho pole here in Charlevoix . We found a man at the Fairport radio repair shop to install channels 12 and 14 for the locks at his suggestion . The Irish Mariner will take our boat out of the water and the owner can help us with charts , spare water pump , spinnaker block , spinnaker halyard , sea cock and the installation of the sum log . We also purchased the Great Lakes Pilot , a ships log and a shackle for our new anchor . We still haven’t a light list , but no one else seems to have one either . We’ll probably drop a couple hundred here , but then will really be set . We changed our course again . Instead of sailing across Lake Huron , we’re going to take a longer but more beautiful cruise through the Canadian Northern Passage .

Another sailboat bound for Florida has been watching our progress as we have been watching theirs . They were surprised to see us in Charlevoix ahead of them since they had assumed we didn’t sail Wednesday . There were gale warnings out that we didn’t know about since our radio has no working frequencies . This I found very sobering . Thankfully we will have the channels we need when we leave here .

Dave’s dad showed up here today , taking us by surprise and out to a great dinner . He seemed happy with our seemingly self-sufficient responsibility and resourcefulness . We told him Dave was quitting his smoking and that pleased him no end .

Tomorrow at about nine we’ll have the boat out of the water and we plan on working on it all day . In some introspective self-criticism , I decided I could make life in our confined space more livable with a more amiable attitude . So I’ll be working toward that goal from now on . I hope I’ll be successful . We seem to live together well and everyone is fairly easy going . Everyone had a turn at sailing in high winds yesterday and we all have gained in confidence . If all goes well tomorrow , we’ll leave for Mackinaw Saturday . The winds are high at this hour , 10:30 pm , and cool .

Yesterday we sailed through a bridge that opened for us on signal , one long blast and one short . Our horn sounds sick .

Daves dad said Glen V.O. didn’t believe we could make it from Sleeping Bear Bay to Charlevoix in one day . That made us feel great . I guess we will have a very long run Saturday ; around 80 miles . I really think we are doing alright . I’ll have to write home and Mary soon .

We may have a traveling companion in that blue striped sailboat I wrote of earlier . I guess we’ve got a fairly appealing route . Boy , am I beat again . There are a lot of ducks here .

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Dave recieves the following letter at a future port :

” I wrote to you in the other letter about Dad and how sorry he was about that night and hoped he talked with you , so I hope you have forgiven him … keep praying for him and all of us . Love , mom ”

… and folded inside this : ” If it stays this cold (38) tonight , looks like the end of golf for the year . Great you quit smoking . Get a haircut , shave , clean your ears , don’t wear flair pants .   Dad “

Beatitude Point ( 3 )

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” Dead Poets Society ” … excerpt

” O Captain , my captain … Who knows where that comes from ? Anybody ? Not a clue ? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln . Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating , or if you’re slightly more daring , O Captain , my Captain .

Why do I stand up here ? Anybody ? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way . They’re not that different from you are they ? Same haircuts , full of hormones just like you . Invincible , just like you feel . The world is their oyster . They believe they’re destined for great things , just like many of you , their eyes are full of hope , just like you . Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable ? Because , you see gentlemen , these boys are now fertilizing daffodils . But if you listen real close , you can hear them whisper their legacy to you . Go on , lean in – listen , you hear it ? … Carpe … hear it ? … Carpe , carpe dime , seize the day boys , make your lives extraordinary .  Boys , you must strive to find your own voice . Because the longer you wait to begin , the less likely you are to find it at all . Thoreau said , ” Most men lead lives of quiet desperation “. Don’t be resigned to that . Break Out “!

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Chris’ journal : 9-17-72

Dave and I were enjoying cooler temperatures outside , sleeping in the cockpit until about 1:00 am when gale winds off Lake Michigan brought us a pounding rain . We tumbled below and soon fell fast asleep .

The morning of our second day started at 9:00 am and all hands decided our days should start earlier . The wind might be better then . We’ll have to wait and see . After showers and a filling breakfast of sliced oranges , apples , pears and bacon sandwiches , we left Grand Haven about 10:30 am . The chores on board will have to be done after the days sailing , which is another reason for early morning departures .

Buzz was putting on the airs of the skipper this morning , noticed by Dave and Dale also . I hope this skipper syndrome will not endanger the harmony of the whole .

I’m studying the Rules of the Road and keeping busy with little odd jobs . The weather is clear and warm but the tremendous  winds of last night are nowhere to be found . We are having trouble with our gearshift ; it slips out of high into low without the constant pressure of a cord holding it back .

We sighted two large freighters leaving the Port of Muskegon today around 2:30 ; our first , but hardly our last . One was carrying cars on its deck and we cut his wake about 75 yards behind him . We waited just long enough to hear his warning blast before we came about .

we cruised under power all day keeping busy or amused with repairs and games . Dales constant adjustment of the water pump grease and discovery of another cooling system turn-off kept the engine temperature down .

The day began clear and sunny but ended overcast and sprinkling . Dale and Buzz argued about weather for awhile ; betting on the coming of rain . When it just barely sprinkled , they couldn’t decide who had won , so they called it off .

We argued about who should be assigned to wash the dishes while we ate a supper of canned beans , carrots , buttered bread and a quart of milk .

No showers for us tonight , but no slip fee either . We’re running low on ice and will buy some tomorrow . Buzz has an alarm clock and we’ll wake up early tomorrow . It’s raining lightly and Dave’s watching  Columbo on TV.

We called home to another world tonight and I didn’t know what to say even though I wanted to say something .

We have to check the charts , weather reports and call Coast Guard tomorrow to inform them of our ETA .

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As soon as the light begins to stream thru the gaps in the curtains , casting it’s strange reflections of Lake Michigan onto the wood planks of their cabin , Dave would arise to throw open the shutters and each time  wonder at the beauty that rushed in and exploded like the thrill of heeling over as “Ventures” sails filled , being pushed by the wind with speed picking up over the vast waters . All four crew-mates would admire the awesome sea with the orange dinghy tied behind the boat , bobbing in the waves with the mist rising above the dark wooded hills on the shore , and the way the first freighter of the morning joined in the current as it cut thru the open water , hissing like a ghost . They would gaze at this brilliantly colored realm to see a glorious and mysterious whole , their souls rejoicing to be alive , humbled at being part of something even greater .

” If people stayed outside and looked at the stars each night , I’ll bet they would live a lot differently “.

Seeing the ghosts of ancient ships lost like the Egyptian city of Heracleion sunken and shrouded in myths and legends , made them contemplate the largeness of history and their own smallness . They became drunk on the intense infinity shimmering all around them and it would sometimes overtake them .

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Note from ghost-writer : I hope you will hear Dave , Buzz , Chris and Dale speaking to you on their journey from the Great Lakes to the Bahamas … It is a true story about the essence of friendship , adventure  , love , anger , surprise , anxiety , joy and tragedy , life and death . The words from Chris’ journal are in their original form … I will note the order with each post with a number placed behind the title “Beatitude Point” in hopes you won’t get lost … Thankyou for being interested …