Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day One Hundred Fifty-five

Day 155 - Quiet
The morning was quiet.  Ignacio had gone to work, and the ferry wouldn’t take me back to Seattle until the afternoon.  I spent the undistracted time working (i.e. looking for job postings, emailing colleagues and friends trying to network into new circles), and sipping on my coffee.  One doesn’t normally think of the search for employment as being peaceful, but today’s was.
The departure was not as easy.  The short time spent in Victoria was a bright spot in an otherwise “partly cloudy” period of my life, and though I have enjoyed several clearings in the preceding months, this was particularly bright.  I didn’t want to leave.  But leave I must, and I busied myself in the process of travel as I boarded the vessel to hide the emotions that were barely kept under the surface.
I found a seat on the upper deck with a nice view and a table on which I could rest my laptop.  As soon as I was situated, I realized I had chosen a spot toward the back of the boat where motion would be greater.  It was OK, I told myself, since I would take my Dramamine now, which should take effect before we got to any rough waters.
The announcement came that the passage would be more “lively” than the trip up in the morning.  Again, I comforted myself in the knowledge that the motion sickness medicine would help.  I was a little less sure when we left the dock only moments later.  In fact, we were in active water very early into the trip, and as a result, I didn’t eat much of the salami, cheese and crackers I had ordered.  I couldn’t finish the coffee, either.  As soon as the steward came by to pick up the trash (which I had to keep hold of so it wouldn't be launched off the table by the next swell), I closed my eyes and tried to keep my stomach quiet by dozing off, making the trip seem that much shorter.
I made it without incident to Seattle, and my dear friend Amy picked me up at the pier.  By the time we made it to her place, I was feeling much better.  We walked down to the pub where a friend of hers was encircled by more people than the corner could accommodate, so we took a table for ourselves and ordered dinner.  I had the lamb burger, which not only tasted great but settled well.  I was exhausted, though, forgetting for the moment that Dramamine makes me sleepy, so we walked back to her house and I went to bed.  The quiet of her home was incredibly relaxing, and I went right to sleep.
I remember when I was a teen, and my mom would tell my brothers and me to turn the stereo down.  Now, as I am older (and don’t listen to music at nearly the decibel levels I used to), I find I value my quiet time.  I think more clearly, feel more deeply, and process my emotions more effectively when I have no distractions.  I believe that’s what meditation is about.  I am grateful for quiet moments.

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