Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Caged Lion, the Little Dog, the Old Lady, and the Thickheaded Sailing Wannabe

When I sailed a couple of weeks ago, I believe it was my season opener, I came back to the dock to adjust something on the boat and as I approached an older woman walking a small dog (the size and disposition of which my sister refers to as a punting dog), hurried down the rampway and waved at me.

I came alongside the dock as she came down to where I was slipping in and she asked if I was from the sailing club (Willamette Sailing Club is a couple hundred meters downriver from my regular boat launch). I said I wasn't.

She then asked if I was sailing in the snow last month, meaning January, because she had taken some pictures from up on the hill of somebody out in the snow and left them at the club. I said that couldn't have been me, as I was out of town.

She then said, "Oh, you must be the one who capsized," which sounds a lot friendlier here in print than it did when she delivered it.

In fact, it sounded so superior that I nearly laughed, reminded of a haughty stereotype of a country club wife.

I smiled and said, "Well, yes, I've tipped this thing over and I'll probably do it again, if you want to know the truth. I tend to find the limits of my abilities nearly every day of my life."

She wandered off after this, a bit crestfallen in my estimation.

That happens to me occasionally. Someone pokes a stick in the cage and tries to rattle the lion, and I'm getting more and more used to the poking and relatively comfortable in my cage, and I tend to shrug it off and move along.

That said, I've really enjoyed all of the ribbing I've taken from you all, as it seems to come from a more genuine place.

As for my own jabs, gybes, pokes, and blunders, I hope they are taken in the same spirit. If not, please send me a note. I'm a little thick, and, although fully capable of sensing when I'm getting the brushback, I'm a much better signal reader when the letters are in a serif-font delivered directly to my inbox.

I believe in community and have a strong desire to belong to a community of people I respect. That's not my original thought, but it is something I ascribe to. I also think that community shifts and changes and moves along. We are players, with our exits and entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts - wait! That's good. I gotta get that down. Maybe start if off with something like, All the world's a stage ...

After teasing everyone about their winter navel-gazing, I'm in the same boat thanks to some old lady and her dog. Thank dog the sun came out this week.

Much aloha!

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