All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came. – John F. Kennedy
I haven’t written in a long time, and for the past few days have been wondering why not. It’s definitely not because I have nothing to say (that never happens) and it’s not because I’ve been in a bad mood (that often happens), and I guess I’ve finally figured it out and therefore am in the mood to write again.
I blame it on the mini-trip we took over President’s Day weekend.
On the Thursday before President’s Day/Valentine’s Day/John’s Birthday, John very spontaneously said, “let’s go away this weekend”. Never, ever one to argue, I pulled up one of my very un-spontaneous 500 spreadsheets mapping out various trip options and chose one perfect for this very situation. Actually, maybe it was this reversal of roles is probably what has set off this uncharacteristic two weeks. Anyway, the next night John and I were on a bus to Boston for a romantic getaway to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.
In the words of my friend Chris, “MV in February . . . and to think, you seemed so sane.”
Yes, going to a New England beach resort in February isn’t the exact definition of sanity, I agree, especially when most things are shut down throughout the winter. At first this idea might sound a little loopy, useless even. If you’re up for it, though, I’ve found that visiting a windblown, bitingly cold, totally isolated beach has medicinal, meditative properties, hence my low online profile . . . the dosage apparently only last two weeks, so here am I, back on the computer, back to being mouthy.
This trip was, for John, a literal implementation of the above JFK quotation; he grew up in a town that is sort of like Germany’s answer to Martha’s Vineyard (yeah, I didn’t know that existed before I met him, either), so it was a nice way to celebrate his birthday. For me, though I didn’t grow up at the beach, the ocean has always been something of a constant for me, a thing that immediately puts me at ease and restores a sense of balance, not to sound too yoga-brained. Normally when one thinks of relaxing, peaceful beach imagery, swaying palm trees and the rhythmic sound of lazily lapping aqua waters spring to mind, warm weather, not cold – don’t get me wrong, I dream about those scenes just about every day. Literally. Calming and soothing, those types of daydreams usually just make me want to take a little snooze, but an empty, windy beach with a grey ocean of powerful waves makes me alert, aware, and feeling a bit smaller. And I guess in hindsight I was in need of feeling smaller.
I’ve only lived in New York for nine months, but I guess that’s a little symbolic. It’s enough time to bake a baby (not literally – that takes 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees), and I think it’s enough time to change your perspective. I already feel really engrained into how life works here, the speed of things, how you can have really anything you want at just about any time . . . delivered. Living in a big city, you think that you’d feel small, but for me it’s been the opposite. In New York, you can be the center of your universe should you so choose and there are a million businesses to assist you in that, um, noble endeavor (thank you seamlessweb.com). People are busy and aggressive walkers, you get in a routine, you don’t go to the park or walk around like you did in the summer, and all of a sudden hustling as fast as you can from one indoor place to another becomes your life.
I’m rambling, but the point is, a trip to an eerily deserted place was the shock I needed to get my brain going again, to, in the words of JFK, “go back from whence (I) came”.
More importantly, did I mention that when you go to places “off-season” prices are reduced drastically? That’s right. Who’s crazy now? Crazy like a fox, bitches . . . a rich, crazy fox.
It was so much fun to pack up and go, get in the PASSENGER seat of a CAR with our own specially created CDs, and relax. We stayed at a really fantastic B&B on the Cape and just drove around, semi-aimlessly, stopping in different towns and beaches. Nice, quiet, wide open space . . . which is what my brain has been these last few weeks. A three day vacation with a two week recovery time . . . wow, how long was I gone after some of my BIG trips?