The sun reflects off of the sand and makes surface of the water an opaque shimmer. The white hot light of mid-day almost blinds and forces me to avoid looking below the surface of the water rushing through the inlet.
The Boynton Inlet breaks a narrow strip of land and links Lake Worth and the Atlantic Ocean. Twice daily tides rush in and out the channel and the current rests only briefly between tides. When the moon and sun align and wind blows from the northwest violent currents occur on an ebb tide creating formidable six to ten foot waves at the inlet mouth. Boats captains that choose to exit the inlet defying the white cap obstacle must negotiate a narrow channel that turns southeast along the beach exposing their boats broadside to the waves. Over the years there have been countless boats run aground or capsize attempt to run the ebb tide gauntlet. And if the waves at the mouth are not enough, a shallow, four foot deep rock ledge on the south side of the inlet channel can shear a prop at low tide. It’s like threading a needle.
At the inlet entrance birds wait for an opportunity to pluck a meal from the water, unaffected by the shimmer and current. Predator fish—snook and bluefish—drive small pray fish near the surface and to shallow water. Just as the mullet and pilchard think can breathe having survived pressures from below, diving gulls and pelicans swoop to pick them off. And the predators lay waiting for prey to return to deep. All of this seems to conspire against the schools of baitfish, yet their numbers seem to stay constant. There’s enough to feed both bird and Barracuda.
When I was young I spent weekends fishing from the jetty at the mouth of the inlet. Fishing always seemed best on an incoming tide with bright blue-green water rushing in. With the sun partially obscured by clouds, I could see silver flashes; fish truing in the current while feeding then returning to refuge from the tide to the rocks.
I understood the flow of swirling in and out of the inlet. I felt in control of the tide when I hooked a fish in that wild water. Although fear of falling in, forced to sink or swim, to be bait or swim with the predators was always in the back of my mind. Could I survive that?
The long awaited Republican election platform revealed today, “A Pledge for America,” is designed to not only resonate with its core constituency, rich white guys, but also reach out to disenfranchised poor people and, yes, minorities. It is obvious that the rich white guys really need tax cuts so they can keep more of their millions. But, just what do the Republicans offer to those who will loose the Obama Socialist health care protection that the GOP pledges to repeal? Well, that’s where we have to dig a bit deeper.
The “Pledge” offers a simple and familiar trickle down economic promise. So, all the rich white guys that benefit most from tax breaks will be more than happy to help those on the fringes of society by hiring a bunch of poor unemployed minority people part-time at minimum wage. Now, this massive hiring spurred by rich white guy tax cuts will stimulate the economy and reduce the deficit because all of those newly part-time employed minimum wage workers will now be paying taxes. It’s shear genius.
Well you may ask: Why did that trickle down stuff not work under presidents Ragan, and the Bush boys? The answer is that they did not have the government takeover of health care to deal with. Just consider all of the money that will be saved by undoing all of the reforms that would have helped the minimum wage workers to afford health insurance. After all, they have been used to having no health insurance. The minimum wage workers will actually save money when the GOP repeals the Socialist health care program because they can simply show up at emergency rooms in acute distress and not have to pay for a thing. The GOP good ole days will return, you have our “Pledge.”
And the GOP will not stop with these “Pledges,” no sir. Steven Colbert, a GOP strategist and comedian (yes, it's hard to tell politicians and comedians apart), has begun to define the party’s plan to deal with its root fear of immigrants, Muslims, gay people, and robots. This fall the GOP will “Keep Fear Alive.” Yes, the best is yet to come!
Our daily lives just skim the surface. The stream of continual information offers only a cursory glance, and defies real understanding and questioning. If we believe only a portion of what we read, hear, and see our minds slowly fall into the void of the Internet and twenty-four hour news shit—nothing more than half truths, distortions, and outright lies. Once the process starts, our defenses are rendered impotent. Knee jerk reactions to deal and the desire/need to “show them,” whoever “them” is, draws us down to the level of the depraved psychotics that pissed us off in the first place. We cannot recognize prevalent sickness—it looks normal.
When younger and less drawn into the shit, I could not understand how people could live that way and vowed not to be sucked in. It happened.
Oh right, computers and the plethora of electronic devices that are available allow us to do more. Or, is that buy more? I've invested in a Kindle, thinking that I’ll read more because the device does nothing more than display text from formatted books—no e-mail or Web surfing. I have not even received my “new generation” device, however, I have spent upwards of an hour browsing Kindle titles and adding them to my “wish list”—such a time saver.
I find it curious that I do not own a Smart Phone device. What does that say about my intelligence? I like to think it means that I’m smart enough without a phone that parrots that virtue. Fact is it may have more to say about my age rather than intelligence. Most Smart Phone owners don’t fondly remember a time before devices that are as mundane as cell phones and personal computers!
And just why do I want to read more and what will a Kindle do for me? After all, my passion is writing. I am curious about e-publishing—the wave of the future? There is a huge variety of titles in Kindle form, but just a fraction of print books. So, perhaps there is a niche there for me, that is if I have anything worthwhile to say, and can take time from away from my timesaving electronic devices/toys to actually write.
BTW, happy birthday, Martha!
I am trying a different approach, however with similar results. So, I’m not paddling this weekend in an effort to connect with what’s inside, but I have been awful busy going to meetings, walking dogs and buying stuff—watch, Kindle. Inside, there’s a guy trying to reinvent and reshape, trying desperately to move form mundane unhappiness toward observation and understanding.
My motivation is easy in hindsight—removed from the day, the more clear my motivation. However, day to day, it’s almost impossible to rise above. Even when I recognize what is pushing me, changing course is difficult. Slow motion self-destruction is painful.
If I was a fictional character, how would I describe me? He is tall, head and shoulders above most—he feels that he is on display. He usually wears a smile; however, it does not reflect what he’s feeling. He adds to conversation when he is comfortable. However, under pressure and in difficult situations he does not have a lot to say—clams up. The voices of fear and doubt raise internal voices and take his tongue. If pressed to open up or answer pointed questions when stressed, he will invariably shift attention to someone else who is an easy blame target in his eyes. The shift includes ridicule and is cutting and relentless. He rarely admits that he does not know the answers.
Move in a different direction, change, and think objectively/spiritually.
I am continually trying to make order and sense out of people places and things that defy order leads to frustration and, yes despair. The Serenity prayer is so easy to say, but “the wisdom to know the difference” between things that can be controlled and those beyond anybody’s control, especially mine, is not so clear in the moment.
So, on the 9/11 anniversary our collective desire to make order and sense of the tragedy leads many voices to place blame on those who look like the few that caused such pain. It draws us into the confused mindset that started it. By doing so, we admit defeat and desire only retribution on faceless people that we refuse to see as people with possibilities and that have limitations just like ours. We cling to our flags and twist our patriotic ideals.
Once again, I’m sitting in my office with all the same old mundane sounds—hot water heater fan, hum of air conditioning, and chatter of people in the “big room.” I’m hypnotized by it all and it feeds “quiet desperation.” I am not fully awake yet not sleeping, pushing through the malaise of Friday, and cannot wait to come to life away from here. Spending most of our time in this situation leads to bizarre behavior—pushing back, grasping at perceived control, trying to manage the unmanageable.
Last night I dreamed I was climbing down a waterfall, trying to fight the push of the flow, not wanting to be swept to the bottom. I wanted to reach that point on my own terms. However, in the light of day, I’m not sure why I was headed to the bottom. Was it my choice of direction?