Went out looking for clothes for the kids for school – K-Mart sale. (Yes, I’m a cheap bastard and $9.99 for Wranglers gets me excited. What can I say? I lead a sad life.) Anyway, not knowing the area well and after several arguments with my crew regarding whether we’d seen a K-Mart on SR-9 above Snohomish… we naturally had the usual traveling argument of "Turn right here?", "Yes turn here?", "Turn LEFT right here or turn RIGHT right here?"… "We turned left.
Now turning left when you should have turned right in life, often leads to wonderful consequences. The ebb and flow of the universe is such, that it pulls you usually not where you want to go – but where you need to go. In this particular case, what began as a doldrum trip to K-Mart for a few pairs of jeans gave the kids the chance to see something their kids may never have a chance to see. When they made the movie "Pirates of the Carribean", there was a need for sailing vessels of that period. This was one of the ships – or so I’m told used in the movie. All decked out in her period regalness – floating in the harbor of Port Everett (told you – we should have turned right).
Yes, it’s the real deal – sails, wooden decks and all. Not sure if the kids appreciated it but – hey, I know they should have and some days that’s the best you can hope for. You give people the opportunity to see something from an era long gone and appreciate it and if they do – they do – if they don’t they don’t. The offer of knowledge is extended, like a hand offering help that’s not needed but offered anyway.
I watched my oldest, Robin, whom a decade ago, begat a ton of writings on the internet as I walked her into school and dealt with a Miss Grundy type who did her best to get her on the straight and narrow of logic vs. imagination ("Ms. Grundy vs. The Dragon" – November Notes, 1989). There she stood on the peir, standing there, the sea air is blowing gently through her long hair and her eagle sharp eyes taking in the horizon. Whatever thoughts were behind those eyes were as deep as the water before her and as mysterious to me.
She stood there – a close friend, and as dear a creature I’ve ever known. And yet – someone I’d never seen before. She was not my child. She was a young woman, and filled with the thoughts and dreams of young women. Filled with purpose and directions, not given from me – but from herself. I’ve been neglectful, and it’s at moments like today that I see her as a young woman and not the child that dreamed of dragons and frogs and believed for the longest time that she was a sled dog named "Gus Yoshi". Somehow, while my daughters life was turning left – I kept taking rights. Now, as she stands there looking out at the Puget Sound and a sailing ship as old as I feel inside at this moment… I see for the incredibly deep and sensitive young woman she’s become.
Like many things in life, she’s not the child I expected. She’s become her own person – something I always wanted her to be, but never saw it until it was right there in front of me. And I wonder as she looks out – her life stretching before her, if she’ll appreciate all the left turns she’s about to make – when she should have turned right. If she’ll see that taking left turns in life – brings you not where you want to be necessarilly – but where you need to be.
All I can hope is that instead of becoming bitter from these turns, she’ll see that no matter which way we turn in life, we’re always where we’re supposed to be. That you just have to look around a bit – and you’ll see why you need to be there, and learn from it. It certainly was a good experience to see such a wonderous work – but that wasn’t what I was there for. I was there – for the woman on the peir, who I’ve known for years, but never met. There’s always something you find when you’re not looking for it. I wondered if she realised this – realized that I was seeing her differently, and would from now on – that the dynamic of our lives had changed here by taking a left, when we should have taken a right.
Proably not. She might someday, see it – when she looks at her own children and wonders… which way they’ll go looking in the world, and if they can see what’s right in front of them – that wasn’t there before. The age old story, of finding those things when you’re not looking for them.
Photos are up in the space … check’em out.