Monday, September 20, 2010


A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what's coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.

--from Have You Ever Tried To Enter the Long Black Branches?
by Mary Oliver


These few words, from the longer poem, were a consolation
and mantra for me some years ago when my own boat/life
was caught up in a seemingly never-ending whirlpool-tailspin
of death and disintegration, and I sought for meaning in events
that defied explanation.


These boats, however, are undergoing their own gentle
sinking: no floundering, no heave; perhaps only grace.
Salvageable, in the wake of the storm:


  1. Finding the rusting hulk of an old car in the woods is always saddening, but a half-drowned rowing boat on the edge of a lake has real beauty.

    I think the boat with the brown oars must have been designed by Jesuit Brothers! The oars look unbelievably heavy, and the blades miniscule. As an ex-rower (8's), they fill me with horror!

  2. Your sunken boat shots remind me of the chorus from "Falling Slowly" from Once:

    "Take this sinking boat and point it home,
    We've still got time..."

  3. Roy, I've listened to that song more times than I can remember. And how appropriate that I read those words from it this morning, when I've just arrived home from what has been a profoundly moving journey of spiritual transformation, awake with the very thoughts that there is still indeed time, to be so alive as I feel right now, today, present in this life. Thank-you!

  4. So there is life after whirlpool-tailspins T?

  5. Jacqueline: keep rowing, keep rowing.

  6. Terrific post, T. Love the photos! Welcome home!

  7. oh, this post has caught me on a morning where, "keep rowing keep rowing" rings hollow. Sniff. I love the boat pictures and see their metaphoric value for so many things in the world right now.

    Happy for you that your journey was so uplifting. It certainly created some wonderful creative output from you and your husband. Enjoying all the images mightily.