ㅁ "Tweet," birds said. "Squawk, squawk, squawk," others answered. The conversations went on, repetitive. Conclusions may have been reached. These creatures failed to develop any true epistemology.
A Portrait in Greys Will it never be possible to separate you from your greyness? Must you be always sinking backward into your grey-brown landscapes—and trees always in the distance, always against a grey sky? Must I be always moving counter to you? Is there no place where we can be at peace together and the motion of our drawing apart be altogether taken up? I see myself standing upon your shoulders touching a grey, broken sky - but you, weighted down with me, yet gripping my ankles, - move laboriously on, where it is level and undisturbed by colors.
ㅁ And suddenly, weather's hot: a heatwave came and gave us a lot of radiation, and sought to wilt the plants with its plot.
A quote for contemplation:
“Real wealth is never having to spend time with assholes” – John Waters
What I’m listening to right now.
I performed surgery on my RV today. I removed a failing organ from it – namely, the roll-up canopy that comes out over the passenger side.
It was failing because one aluminum support strut had broken, and one of the extending arms was weirdly bent, too. It seemed unrepairable, at least given the tools and talents I would be able to bring to bear to it, so I decided to just remove it.
It was very difficult to remove. Several of the screws that I needed to remove were stripped out, and wouldn’t come out. I drilled them out of the aluminum. Anyway, it finally all came apart.
It was an actual hot day today – hot by Rockpit standards, anyway: almost 80° F. So I laid out my giant white tarp to dry. I thus increased the planet’s albedo by an infinitesimal amount, doing my part to fight global warming.
Still no luck catching fish.
We left at just before 7 AM. The morning was extremely foggy. We motored out of the inlet at half-speed, because visibility was probably no more than about 200 yards. We gamely attempted to start trolling along the west side of Cemetery Island, just north of the north entrance to Port Saint Nicholas Inlet. I don’t know why Arthur has fixated on that location, these days. There have been a lot of commercial boats outside the entrance, but I am wondering if they are there simply because they’re being restricted there by the authorities. Certainly despite the number of boats we’ve seen there, I’ve not once, so far, seen much activity on the rear decks hauling in lines or fish.
We trolled past the north entrance, southward along the Coronados Islands, and past the south entrance, and down into Doyle Bay, where the Kelp Farm is. The sun finally started coming out, there. When the fog lifted at the entrance to Doyle Bay, Sunnahae Mountain was revealed.
We kept trolling all the way to Caldera bay, to the southwest. We caught some tiny sea bass. Nothing else.
Giving up, we fished for halibut under bright sun and in calm waters, at Caldera. We pulled up some bottom fish, but they too were small, and we sent them back.
We headed to the fuel dock, refueled the boat, and were home at around 12:30 pm. It was our longest outing so far, but no more fruitful, for all that.
Meanwhile, I have become increasingly unhappy and uncomfortable in the boat with Arthur. He is very, very difficult to communicate with: both at the level of “hearing” and at the level of “listening.”
At the level of “hearing” – well, we all know he has some hearing loss. I basically always must repeat myself several times, with any kind of statement longer than a simple “Yes,” “No,” or “Okay.” This in itself is exhausting and frustrating.
But on top of this, he insists on sticking his audiobooks (playing loudly on earbuds connected to his iPod) in his ears at any idle moment. So any kind of talk where I initiate has to be started with getting his attention, conveying that it’s important, and then waiting for him to fiddle with the “pause” on his iPod (a fairly drawn out procedure, sometimes). So I end up deciding very little is really that important to say. And I just sit in silence, and have a little mantra, now, “Only speak when spoken to….”
But even when he asks me a direct question, half the time he still fails to turn off his iPod, which means he can’t hear my answer, and it requires multiple repetitions, followed by him finally realizing he could maybe turn off the iPod, and my repeating it yet again.
This is all just about the “hearing” part.
But he’s a poor “listener” too. He often responds to my efforts at communication with sarcasm, strange non-sequitur humor, or even a condescending tone of “Of course,” followed by a repetition of what I’d just said as if it was his own idea.
Add to this the fact that with our poor results, he gets grumpy and frustrated and well… we all know how that can go.
I know there are cognitive issues here. I try to be patient. But I’m imperfect, and it’s getting more and more difficult.
I really don’t want to go out fishing with him anymore. It’s not fun. It’s stressful and actually lonely, punctuated with moments of stressful and comically incommunicative shouting. It’s as if I’m doing it alone, for all there’s any kind of companionship or friendship or camaraderie.
- Coho: 0
- Kings: 0
- Halibut: 0
- Other: 0
- Too-small fish sent home to mama: 8
- Downrigger weights left on the bottom of the sea: 1
ㅁ Six cats in Trieste in the blue wind off the cold Adriatic, off the snow-covered Alps weirdly visible on the northern horizon, I climbed the Scala dei Giganti, up the hill to the castle, around the back of the cathedral San Giusto, past the monument to the dead of world war two, down the stairs behind the ruins of the foundations of the roman theater; I saw six cats: one in the sun in a window; one on some grass, looking up at the first one; one on an abandoned, ratty-looking suitcase in a vacant lot, behind the stairs; one colored brown, hunting the blades of grass, staring at ghosts; one mewing in the dark shadow of a crumbling stone step; one sitting high up on the top of a wall that was covered with spikes to keep the pigeons away, but the spikes where broken off and the cat was comfortable.
– a free-form poem originally written in March, 2005, when I was visiting Trieste, Italy. I wrote it on paper at that time, then transcribed it into the blog a bit later, but I only gave it it’s own separate blog-entry in 2011, but I put it under the appropriate date. Anyway, I’m “republishing” it now, as one of my daily poems. Mostly, I republish these older poems in the series of daily poems out of some notion of completeness – at some point I decided that the daily poems would eventually encompass ALL my poems. Anyway, by dredging these poems out of my past, I can find an occasional respite from the need to come up with a new poem each and every day.
This tree is from the past. It’s a tree in front of the house in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, where Michelle (my wife) died in the year 2000, on or around this date. We don’t actually know the day she died, because she committed suicide and her body was only found some days later, but in recent years I’ve settled on June 25 as the anniversary of her death. In fact, I never lived in this house. Michelle and I had separated (but not divorced) and this was the house she moved into shortly after that separation. I did end up spending some time in this house, though, after her death. I spent a very intense and grim few days there, while staying in a motel, cleaning up and collecting our shared possessions and placing them into storage. I also returned to visit the house some years later, in 2009, and took this picture.
[UPDATE] It has come to my attention that this same picture, somewhat more cropped than above, was featured as Tree #282, about a year and a half ago. Rather than delete or alter this tree picture, I’ll point out that the cropping of the earlier posting of this picture clearly “chooses” the darker, denser tree on the left, near the picture’s center. So I can suggest that this time round, I’m choosing the tree on the right instead – the one closer to the street. In any event, as I said in that earlier blog-entry, Michelle’s ghost sometimes makes requests.
ㅁ Younger than others, the tree was just starting out. Still, it was bright green.
This tree a sugar maple tree – about 2 days old. I had mentioned a month or so ago that I had bought some seeds for exotic trees that I was going to try to germinate and grow and eventually plant on lot 73. Well, out of the 4 little planters, this one is the only one, so far, to germinate: a little baby maple tree.
ㅁ The sky offers itself, gray: a slate against which the day can put the hills on display.
Awoke at 2 AM I dreamed 3 things. The first thing: I dreamed a language. I was holding a language, that writhed in my arms like a weeping child. Or like a laughing child. It was a rough and restless language. I was holding a language. The second thing: I dreamed an emptiness. I was holding an emptiness, that stretched out around me like an enveloping forest. But it was shapeless, quiet, cool. A smooth, safe emptiness. More safe than feelings, more safe than optimism. I was holding an emptiness. These were evaporating abstractions, but I held them close to me, like two musical instruments, ready to play. The third thing: I dreamed a smile. I was holding a smile, that was like a cat's face in the sunshine. Or like a painting of the stormy sky at sunset, more stunning than reality. Or like a mask that reveals everything. But it was a kind and guileless smile. I was holding your beautiful smile, in memory. I awoke at 2 am, from sleeping on a warm floor.
– a free-form poem from my past. I wrote and published this poem on this blog March 3, 2010, when I was living, temporarily, in Suwon, South Korea.
We went where fish weren’t. Evidently.
We gave it a try, though. And unlike the previous two outings, nothing went wrong with our equipment. So I view it as having been a positive outcome, relative to recent experiences.
The downriggers worked – both the old one (which I repaired a total of 3 times) and the new one we bought this week (which we had to wire a new plug for and add a new mount for). They are quite different, the old one is a Cannon brand, the new one is a Scotty brand. Moving from one to the other gave Art’s brain quite a workout, but we managed without any major issues, and only bonked the bottom once with a weight.
We caught a couple of too-small fish, so we threw them back. No salmon though. We went up to an area at the north end of San Fernando Island, along the San Christoval Channel, called Palisade. After there weren’t any fish there, we decided to troll along Cemetery Island and in through the North Entrance to Port Saint Nicholas, just southeast of Craig – in view of the town. There were a lot of commercial trollers operating in the area. But still no fish.
- Coho: 0
- Kings: 0
- Halibut: 0
- Other: 0
- Too-small fish sent home to mama: 3
- Downrigger weights left on the bottom of the sea: 1
ㅁ the hills are robed in dreaming mists the sea is smooth and green a distant boat adjusts her nets the deckhands barely seen