Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat, temporarily

Afloat: borne on the water, free of difficulties. 

glass 4Not 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. 

dreamy denisThere 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.

connect 2

© 2015, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved

Afloat

New Year’s Eve

The social tradition in this country is to spend New Year’s Eve with the person who is most important to you, someone with whom you’d like to spend your future.  That first kiss of the New Year is supposed to impart good fortune for the year to come.  For many Americans, then, it’s off to parties to drink up and link up in an attempt to avoid the curse of loneliness for the rest of your life.

Yeah, well, I’ve never seen it quite like that.  You see, New Year’s Eve is also my mother’s birthday.  We always spent it at home, having a family celebration.  When I got married and moved out, my new nuclear family did the same thing.  We dressed up in prom gowns and tuxes (and sometimes like pirates) and danced in the living room, sipping champagne and listening to the weirdest music we had.  Kisses were passed between husbands and wives and fathers and daughters and mothers and sons and sometimes siblings.  Our future was with the family; our past was with the family.  The two were intertwined, and we liked it that way.  We watched the ball drop in NYC some years, and sometimes we just let the kids run outdoors with big spoons and pots and pans and make all the noise they liked at midnight.  One year, we were visiting Jim’s best friend’s family, and the kids had a silly string fight in the middle of the street that afternoon.  They made a huge mess.   Which makes me wonder: who cleans up the confetti after New Year’s Eve in NYC?  How much gets recycled?

New Year's Eve 1992 or 1993?

Who do I want to be next year?  My future is rooted in my past and lived in the present.  I will always live with my family legacy coursing through my veins, pulsating in my brain.  I am my father & mother’s daughter, Jim’s lover, my kids’ mother, and that will stay with me year after year.  I am also Steve’s partner, a writer, a budding naturalist.  I hope to become a home economist & ecologist.  I want to keep on practicing awareness, appreciation, attitude and action.  Ultimately, the person with whom I will spend my future is…myself.  At the stroke of midnight, I’ll look myself in the eye and say, “You and me, kid!  It’s gonna be a great year!”  Hopefully, I won’t feel cross-eyed and alone when I do.  And I promise I’ll clean up after myself.