Time Hurries On!

And just like that a full month has passed in total self-absorption! Our lives as very busy bees have been lead under the lashing whip of civilization, where time for reflection is scarce, you’re on a constant run in a web of complex causes and effects and the competition for wealth and comfort is fierce. And if things all turn out as planned for us, it will all soon get a good bit worse!

This is just a quick note to bring you up to speed on our done deeds. Thanks to nature’s frequent bouts of fury I’m getting a short break from the tight leash of landlubber life. For the second time this year a twisting blob of tropical air with cyclonic proportions is interrupting the bone-dry summer of New Zealand’s Northland and comes marching straight towards us. This time it’s the remnants of Cyclone Ita, the renegade born after the hot shots of maritime meteorology had declared the season closed and the swan song sung. It had started out over ten days ago as a very moist depression that drenched the Solomon Islands with a curse of floods that combined with hefty earthquakes for a bout of natural disasters of apparently biblical proportions. Its initial movement was minute. It just sat there and poured and poured. Once it got organized and began its cyclonic circulation it leisurely cruised across the Northwestern tip of the Tasman Sea and paid Australia’s Queensland a very wet visit and then strolled down the Eastern Seaboard before heading back out into the Tasman once again, seemingly losing steam as it found itself over cooler waters. But clashing with a cool air mass wandering up from the Arctic realm it re-intensified, and as I’m writing these words it prepares to gobble up a low pressure system that had stalled to the West of New Zealand over the last couple days and had brought some desperately anticipated precipitation for the aching farmland around here. This combined system is forecast to pack a punch as it runs down to the West of us during the course of the night, with gusts peaking into the sixties. Aluna sits at anchor at the moment in the Waikare Inlet, where a ridge of rolling hills to the North should provide enough shelter to make the onslaught bearable. We’ll survive it, no doubt.

But now to the wrap-up of the last couple weeks of our eternal gypsy life. That crooked yuloh from the previous post still awaits experimentation in the harsh realm of practicality. I just happened to strap it down with a couple lashings so the wild weather will not take it away and transform it into some flying projectile. So down to Auckland we went. I had some paid work on my friend’s boat, which also kindly turned out to be our temporary home in the urban sprawl. She sits on the hard for the season and it’s a funny feeling climbing up a ladder ten feet into thin air up onto her decks and living in her belly suspended on fickle metal stands. The notorious Southwest winds of the Waitemata harbor lash the shallow waters of Half Moon Bay even further below just beyond the boulders of the seawall of the yard. Their ripples complete the surreal picture of staying on an aircraft rather than a vessel capable of plowing the seas. While I cleaned oily bilges and brought deck teak up to Bristol fashion Beatriz had her brain bombarded with an intense weekend course in the smart process of the Pilates physical exercise regime and is now (almost) a certified instructor. This is yet another small step in her transition from a furious whirlwind of the dancing stage to a mature and measured teacher of refined and healthy body culture.

From there we shifted our bodies up North once again, to Maungatapere to be exact. Up on the gentle slopes of the Whatitiri Mountain to the Southwest of Whangarei town our good friend Janet Hyde calls home a cozy farm with pastures for cows and sheep, a sizeable flock of ducks and another of chickens of all ages, row after row of glass houses for her flower growing operation and a full blown pottery studio, where over many years she has honed her earthy craft. Her ceramic artistry has surpassed the symmetry of common practical kitchenware and all her latest pieces include a special twist that pushes your mind away from the ordinary into the realm of meaningful exceptions. We had met up with her in sultry Fiji, where she was on an extended sailing adventure with her grumpy Swiss partner, that had started somewhere up the Florida panhandle in the Southern US and brought her to Cuba, through the Panama Canal, the Marquesas Island and many other exotic sounding places. But six months out of the year find her back on her farm, tending to the exquisitely twisted petals of her Zambian Gloriosa lilies, which she grows with expertise and sells on local and national markets.

Janet had invited us to partake in her latest sociocultural brainchild, the Combined Arts Workshops of Maungatapere. Its visionary purpose was to bring arts and crafts to the rural area and together with her painting neighbor she had assembled a workshop program of serious proportions that was about to be unleashed over four weekends in the merry month March. Citizens of every creed and age were able to choose from courses in painting, pottery, photography, piano and Beatriz and I were to deliver instructions in arts that to not begin with the letter P, like dance and drama.

We then spent four weekends in the chilly Whatitiri Hall waiting for the masses and multitude to arrive. In spite of a sizeable effort in advertising and publicity the attendance unfortunately was sparse. Modern man has little interest in the doings of the heart and the soul, longs for ease and comfort, and the out of the ordinary is very rarely deemed worth the effort. But those few brave souls who did take advantage of the creative offerings made it all a memorable experience. While these worthy undertakings will never win the contest of popularity they clearly are on a right track. An example has been made, a pilot project performed, a seed put into the ground of feasibility!

The famous fools of April 1 saw us back up in the Bay of Islands stepping off the nakedbus in downtown Paihia amongst a horde of backpacking tourists, but alas, the intended return to our sailing home was thwarted by an unexpected turn, an offer too good to be refused. Economically fructiferous activities were waiting for me in one of the irate number of motels in this town of six months on and six months off. For a good two weeks we have now been living in a luxurious hotel room, during the day I’m painting doors and walls, fix stubborn locks and raise wooden frames for signs that advertise the soothing services of our new hosts and in the evenings we have some spare time to fulfill our artistic duties and practice for an upcoming new show to be held at the Old Stone Butter Factory in Whangarei on 9 May.

In between all this frantic activity we’re just about getting to the point of finalizing the decision to put yet another teeming twist in the roaming roads of our journey, one that will entwine us even deeper in the daunting web of the all too civilized living of contemporary man.

The fury of the storm is just about to blow itself our, the written text reviewed and most of the errors caught. Time to put it out into the world and post it for public perusal somewhere up there in the energy hungry cloud of man’s mirror image in virtuality.

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2 Responses to “Time Hurries On!”

  1. Beatriz Restrepo Says:

    What a Journal!!

  2. Rudy Says:

    Me need speak to Chief Blue Water.
    Number 1,2,3 reason for leaving Alunas Tuna in dust. Speak in I am way. Chief old . Fall sleep between adverbs.

    Examples. Money? How much needed to follow blue dolphin and no choke on big smoke from big sky bird to ol’ home land.

    Plan C
    If must jump ship jump big bird come Hilo. Stay with greatest landlubber of all time help fix tee pee. Then go back to Aluna. Me need much work on tee pee to avoid loosing landlubber lease. Just found out this week if tee pee make the cut can extend lease to 2019 of March. No one living here but Mike and Dora and me now. How long will visa let you stay stay in Hilo…

    Plan B
    Chief digress. How much Chief Blue Water need to stay with Aluna for now and continue venture??? State your obstacles in terms an old Indian can understand.

    You already buy ticket to old home land yes? How much to fly to Hilo?

    Plan A
    Is it time verses money verses visa restrictions verses exhaustion??? If so assign per cent to each factor keeping you guys up at night so I can appreciate scope of situation if not to much trouble

    Rudy

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