Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters,
True sailing is dead.

Awkward instant
And the first animal is jettisoned,
Legs furiously pumping
Their stiff green gallop,
And heads bob up
Poise, Delicate,
Pause, Consent
In mute, nostril agony
Carefully refined
And sealed over.

-Jim Morrison

When I first heard the poem above, I had no idea what it was talking about. It took me years to find out that on our globe between thirty and thirty-five degrees (north and south), the subtropics, are known for their lack of winds. There can be much activity in these latitudes, but for sailors, these areas are unreliable. Sailors are men who rely on the wind to take them tom their destination, and getting stuck in the wrong areas can lead to weeks at sea with little progress to their destination.

The horse latitudes receive their name, because in travel, sailors in despair would be forced to throw their horses overboard. The horses would be slaughtered, because their stewards are unable to feed them. The horses become a burden, and thus lose their life. Amazing that I could speak so casually of these ideas long before I learned what they meant. Jim Morrison penned the poem above, and many times I hav e heard people speak of their “doldrums”, the Doldrums refers to that same oceanic space of emptiness, that deadly calm, that makes progress impossible.

I stay cautious of the calm in my life. I see myself getting lost in my own “doldrums”, only to see periods of my life in a deadly calm. I listen to many people who talk about how “maybe you needed this time” or “this happened for a reason”; I know that when I am uncomfortable, I am inspired to make changes. This past couple years have been filled with many changes. I do not have to inspect these past years for “meaning.” It is exciting that I have enjoyed so much, and did not lose myself in overly calm waters of my life.

So, I am looking at the things with much hope. I have no horses to throw overboard. I am inspired by the love of my family and friends. I am thrilled that I am above ground one more day.

I moved from the apartment, and have a place to stay, but still am functionally homeless. One thing certain, and that is there is very little time to lose in doldrums. My groceries still need attending, and my blog still needs writing. So, the journey continues...

Thank you for reading...


Marie said...

very well said... I know you're a strong person.. :) by the way, thanks for the bday greeting..highly appreciated!:)

Kai and Baobei said...

nice to meet you, have a nice Wednesday ya ~ :)

nyl said...

"I know that when I am uncomfortable, I am inspired to make changes." I like this line Keith... keep it up!

bw said...

interesting...the poem is so cryptic that I wouldn't have a clue of what Jim Morrison is talking about until you explained it !

I guess in our life we ocassionally tread into our own thirty five degrees and need to jettison things valuable to us just to continue our voyage. Nice post.

Nyl said...

I have an award for you my friend. Hope you'll get the chance to peep and grab it.:)

Santa Cruz Nick said...

Never would have guessed the meaning of that poem, Jim Morrison was quite the wordsmith. Too bad for the horses, good luck on your travels and may you stay on board.