Afloat: borne on the water, free of difficulties.
Not exactly the same as ‘adrift’. You can be anxious, being adrift, afraid you’ve lost your bearings, veered off course, or abandoned your purpose. Afloat is the feeling of being supported gently, effortlessly. It’s a kind of dreamy state, I think. Last year, the day after my birthday, I treated myself to a sail on the Denis Sullivan, a facsimile of a 19th century lake vessel owned by the museum where I worked at the time. The day was completely calm and foggy.
There was a very quiet, gentleness to the water. It was very relaxing. The crew still went through the activities of raising the sails, and we helped (a little), but mostly hung around idle.
It’s nice to be afloat, but I wouldn’t want to do it every day. I like being engaged in a stimulating effort to take responsibility for myself in my life. I don’t want to expect an easy ride, and I don’t want to complain or blame some other entity for not supporting me. I appreciate resources, but I don’t feel entitled to them, and I’m very willing to go without a lot of things. I think this attitude is very simple and useful.
© 2015, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved