Lately it's felt like some metaphoric umbilical cord has kept me close to the boat. Work and life meld together into routine. After dinner the crew and I melt into sofas in front of movies and bad television. Then sleep comes followed by another morning and another day of cleaning. It's easy to forget that a city thrives, wakes, and moves around us. The yacht club becomes an easy bubble where everything we need is at reach. A grocery across the street, the same three bars, some fellow yachties to share drinks with on the dock. In this way the day to day doesn't inspire much. A reprieve is public radio, the news and some opinions to make my mind turn a little as I in hail rubbing alcohol and vinegar mixtures over miles of marble and wood. All I need to break the cycle is a walk in any direction to get my mind working again. I love to wonder. Taking the roll as the observer, an anthropologist without credentials in the wild unknown urbana. In Brussels I took twisted cobblestone ally ways and navigated by pubs, coca-cola signs, and cartoon murals. Sights, sounds, culture came from every corner. It was easy to be a students and an interested mind in a place so foreign and so beautifully romantic to me. In St. Louis I'd take the metro downtown or to the Central West end in search of something I'd missed as a student living in the University bubble. More often then not I found myself in Forest park walking and watching people observe Olmsted gift to the city. In Charleston the architecture and bitter romance in the air captured me so quickly. Gas lights outside town houses and the sent of tulip trees are enough to capture your soul for an hour or two. There I walked and walked in every direction and the city unveiled it's racial and class divides abruptly. Camden was about simplicity and friendly people teaching me how to be myself again.
Now I find myself in Miami Beach with an easy place to hide and a long list of preconceptions about this place. But I must walk and become that observer again. I know it's good for my writing and my sanity. I can only hide on 130 feet for so long. I have the weekend off and am dedicating most of it to people watching, eating street food, and maybe even meeting a stranger or two. Other things on the agenda are kayaking in the bay and possible seeing the Norman Rockwell exhibit in Ft. Lauderdale. I need culture and I need to wonder. I refuse to be complacent in the land of laundry and polish.
In other news I am happy. We were in the Bahamas last week and had a very nice trip fishing and enjoying the sun and exodus to Chub Cay. Chub is a bankrupt paradise with few boats, beaches, water, and fish. A failure in the eyes of capitalism and development, but a victory that preserved the beauty of the islands. We are in Miami without trips for the entire month of February so I'm concentrating on a few different articles and finding some sanctuary amongst the alien nation of South Beach.
Miami Beach, FL