Art met the deep current of a tide that has reached across time.
A recent windfall of finding my former mentor led me on my first trip north to the Puget Sound in 6 years since the surgeries and Deafening. I live landlocked as I get very dizzy from even a 30 mile car ride. I braved it for 2 reasons. The Wooden Boat Festival is my mecca and my mentor in the same town is now 77. It had been 42 years, a lifetime, since I worked for her as a young teen, painting and teaching art at her summer camp where I learned to sail on the Schooner Martha which graced the camp harbor. It was a privilege to attend the Lifetime Service Award ceremony of a woman whose life on the water and dedication to the art of sailing has inspired thousands of people: Carlyn Kaiser Stark.
The schooner Martha went through what happens in many women's lives: she's been rebuilt from the bottom up after a dreadful stove-in in 1976 and LIVES again! I had to see my mentor and the boat that changed my life. So, SeasickOnLand went north with hearing hubby to the worshipful company of Boaties (maybe I mentioned along the way I had lived aboard with a former husband of 16 years and our 2 children, who were raised on the water). After that life crashed in a sad ending 16 years ago, my long oar now holds up raspberries in the vegetable garden. The ocean lives in my head because of the fluid imbalance of broken calcium ion channels that destroyed my balance and hearing assigning me new citizenship as a Deafugee. Now I sketch my obeysance at Martha's bow.
While inching my walker down the piers, wobbling and weeping over renewed connection to the watery world, my husband fell for a classic old motor yacht, Shamrock, and "had to have me come see it". Parking the walker, I clutched the ladder, entered the companionway to see the face of a lovely, bright eyed woman with an intense look, signed her a hello, and we "clicked" in immediate awareness of a strange connection. She said "You are Deaf? I just got back from ASL immersion conference. I am HH and doing research on Late Deafened people."
We agreed to meet on the pier after hubby and I toured the vessel. Once back to the pier, she and I hit the deck and dove in to discover that
each of us are recent recipients of..(wait for it)...first time scholarships to the same Association of Late Deafened Adults Conference in Indianapolis! She is in Canada, I am in the States. Her first Wooden Boat Festival, my return after 16 years. Hundreds of boats, over 4,000 people a day. Okay, math geeks, what are the odds our paths would cross as the two dizziest deafened women at a boat festival?
There is more to the deep current of time and tide that we know. Physics is right. There is something that accounts for the unusual strong connection between things, and though we can only recently identify it, some of us have staked our lives by that magnetic north. I say: "The Universe is Wiggly." I am blinkered with happiness but back to horizontal here, still paying the dizziness & nausea tax for the trip. No matter, "Shamrock" the motoryacht brought me and Deborah our pot of gold. And Martha? She led me back to Carlyn, who is one of the true treasures of West Coast Maritime history!
What are the winds of time blowing back into your life these days?