Even the Coffee is Perfect

“As a people, we believe more in linear movement than in anything circular.” True West, William Least-Heat Moon

June 22, 2009
early morning
Victoria, B.C.
I arose later than expected, having fully acclimated in one night to my time zone. I am at the edge of my hemisphere. Across the bay, the sun gleams on the snow-topped Olympic Mountains. The wind is fierce this morning but I am calm. Gulls crest and careen over the dark blue waves. Rocks and forgotten logs below the cliff face, a precious sea wall.

A spotted dog named Jersey left his owner to walk with me. He lifted his eyes to mine and offered a familiar glance.

Yesterday, three pods of killer whales lifted and dove in the cold waters of the Active Pass. I do not believe in coincidence.

On the plane, I tore pages from magazines to remember inspiration after I return. Beside me, Joel Tyler commented, “You know, you can keep the whole magazine.” I laughed and gave his wife Lisa my Saveur, sans three pages. “I am trying to eliminate the weight,” I told him. “There are seven magazines in my backpack. I want to leave the plane with less.”

And then we were friends.

This morning, the scent of long grasses overgrown and swaying, of brambles and thistles, of honeysuckle along my walk. Of sea water, salty and cool. Of a breakfast made decadent and with purpose. We eat with all our senses.

Last night, seaplanes lifted and soared in my view. Sailboats were quiet at the dock. The winds again. I tasted the sea. Lisa is illuminating convergences. I read the signs. No coincidences. Eagles soared in my piece of sky.

This is not a story about canoes. It’s a story about metaphors. About finding truth. (LSA Magazine Spring 2009) At the University of Michigan, Professor Vince Diaz teaches the positions of 32 stars that orient a canoe at sea; how waves indicate location; the idea of etak, that islands aren’t static, that they move. He links social, environmental, physical.

But aren’t they always linked, even if we don’t acknowledge?


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