To shore up or …

imagedream my way out to sea?

Well, speaking for myself, always in regards of myself (save for when I’m voicing LBM’s stories but then, that’s really only a narrative of someone else’s experience anyway, isn’t it?), I’m choosing to leave the shore a lot more often.

And while for the most part it’s been instilled into a greater percentage of us, that our life’s practice must contain a whole lot of shoring up as it were, well, I’ve noticed that hasn’t always been so much fun.

Fun? one would ask me.  Is that all life means to you, is to just have fun?  Sure fun is good but it can’t be all there is, all the time.  Have you not a sedate thought as to the direction of your future?  Are you just going to throw sensibility and caution straight out into the gale force winds, shrugging your shoulders at the very word, ‘serious’ … Seriously!?

Okay to be fair, I took quite a few things with as solemn an approach as I was raised to do, while making my way through this world; through this first half of my life.  You know, I’ve noticed however, as time goes by, the seriousness of it all begins to fall away.

🤍 And thank goodness it has done exactly that for me.  It couldn’t have happened at a better time, this unencumbered ability to just be!  Trust me, this has nothing to do with a financial perspective as I haven’t one anyway.  Someone just asked me, “How can you be like that, especially during this CoronaVirus scenario?”  I don’t know if I could really ever explain it, I just know it.

 

Get this:  two days ago I accidentally dropped a hot water pot to the ground, at my feet.  It was three quarters full and had just come to a complete boil.  The pot was momentarily resting at a level just above my head.

You see, my brother’s house is currently kitchen-less during renovations and so that’s where the pot’s base was, atop the refrigerator as there’s really no space here in the hallway.  And I take full responsibility for the accident, I do.

Now as it made its way down, it bounced off a mid-level (about waist high) shelf, flipping itself on its side and that’s when it happened.  As it hit the shelf, the water burst out from the pot, it doused my entire left hand, to also include both sides down past my wrist, and then both of my legs (I was wearing shorts) as it hit the floor!

Shocked?  Oh yes, for sure! 🔥 It took a moment to realize I’d just been badly burned.  I picked up the pot and set it on a side table, quickly making my way to the bathroom faucet for a good drenching of cold water💦

There was very much a raging fire burning from within my hand which encouraged me to repeat over and over, ‘I’m fine, I’m good, I’m brave, it’s going to be all right,’ and over again some more.  I said this out loud because I wanted to be sure LOL my affirmations were being heard somewhere out in the universe!

I was also being very, very appreciative that my head or face wasn’t involved in this mishap.  I intentionally ignored my legs because the nerves of my hand were screaming a lot louder.

After a little bit, the cold water from the faucet was not cold enough so I had to get the pitcher of cold water out of the fridge and slowly trickle it onto my hand.  Emptying the pitcher, I had to return to the faucet but it did feel better than at the beginning.

This process went on for quite some time until I could finally pull myself away from the running water to attempt applying something soothing onto the surface of my hand.  CBD to the rescue!

It was an all day, all evening process; in and out of the running cold water and frozen washcloths but do you know, in all that pain, I was able to sleep most of the night through, waking only from the misplacement of my hand.

And do you know why?  Right from the beginning I reminded myself to absolutely not take this seriously, despite the intense pain and I’m not kidding!  While it’s true my legs received a lesser amount of 💦 splash, I didn’t attend to them at all.  I had felt the burn when it happened and for a short while after the fact but they managed themselves I suppose.

🌸 Today, the 3rd day, there’s redness only at the inside of my wrist and a little on the back of my hand.  I’m trusting that’ll be gone before long, perhaps even before my birthday next week ☺️ and pain?  Non-existent LOL save for when I knocked my hand up against something yesterday. ⚛️

I’m so appreciative that I was able to, in such a crisis, remind myself to not take it too seriously.  I’m not certain how my reaction will take hold in alternate circumstances but I have to say, I see this has been a very good direction for me and I’ll keep comfortably on this path.

Perhaps my story will awaken something in yourself … a positive application of self-trust, a bit more relaxed about life and a healthy dose of more fun!  Look, I know how severe this burn was, I see the manifestation of the near immediate healing and I also know how great I felt comforting myself 🌹with simple ease and pleasure of being light-hearted 💙💕💖

|||


 

 

91. “We’re Americans, Don’t Shoot!”

Day 5:  Sài Gòn.  Two of us, my cabin-mate (I’ll call him Dan) and I are busy sucking down a few ice cold beers in one of the bars and as was becoming the norm, flanked by local femme fatales.  Before we realized how late it was, already we had broken the curfew missing our boat back to the Trans Western.  

Desperate to get outta there we made quick inquiry for a way to return to our ship, to anyone who’d listen.  We needed someone with a boat who’d take us out to the anchored ships, for pay of course.  One Vietnamese man with very little English stepped up to the job.  We three made haste to his boat.  

So now we’re putt-putting through the dark waters under black velvet skies, studded with stars brilliant as diamonds.  I see little twinkling lights of the ships anchored all around the harbor.  

In my mind I’m thinking, how on earth are we gonna find our ship in all of this?  They seem so close to each other from a distance but as we get nearer, they’re all really far apart from one another.

Marines on constant patrol are no doubt hearing the putt-putt of the small gasoline engine of this little man’s smallish boat.  Suddenly there were two spotlights splashing us in harsh white light and our boatman quickly shuts off his motor; he definitely doesn’t want to get his ass shot off in any language, of that I’m sure!

Feeling the panic, Dan thinks quick and takes off his tee shirt.  He stood up and began to wave his white shirt, “Don’t shoot, we’re Americans!” he yelled out in fright.  I didn’t think twice and removing my shirt, I too stood up and did the same. ‘Don’t shoot, Americans, we’re also American!’  

We’re waving our shirts and they’re getting closer; upon reaching us, I’m guessing they relaxed only a small bit, assessing we are most likely harmless.  

They cuss us out. “What the hell are you guys doing out here after curfew …(then pointing the barrel of their guns at the boatman)… with him!?”  ‘We missed our boat outta town and … and we made a desperate decision’, I nervously explained.  

They talked amongst themselves for a moment and then ordered us to climb aboard their boat.  The Vietnamese man was also brought on board.  His little boat was tied up to theirs and after identifying us with our ID cards, we were transported to the Trans Western.  

Boy did we get an ass-chewing and that was just by the Marines who picked us up!  The Skipper had yet to have his go on us.  Upon arrival we had to of course, be re-identified to the guard soldiers on board our ship; up the rope we went.  

The patrolling Marines left with the little man still in their custody; I’m thinking most likely they escorted him back to shore.  This type of scene may have happened to others before us and most probably would occur again in the years to come.  

Dan and I made tracks for the mess hall.  All this excitement made for a great appetite.  A few of the Marine soldiers were down in the galley enjoying some grub.  

We made fresh coffee, tuna fish sandwiches with some crunchy pickles and proceeded to eat as though that would fix anything.  I tell ya, what a night!  To our immediate relief, the Skipper’s ass-chewing was not on tonight’s menu.  

Retiring to our cabin I was on autopilot until my head finally hit my pillow and I was able to think for a moment.  I was filled with gratitude that my butt was not blown to bits by the US Marines!  Or anyone else for that matter.

|||


 

87. Some Things Do Change

We’d only be reminded once; miss the boat coming back, guilty of not obeying the rules, considered on our own and most critical of all, placing ourselves at grave risk.  Curfew is impressed upon us and well, bottom line, I had no interest in finding myself in this position.

For legitimate reasons, war zone dinner time was bumped up by about an hour. The best result of this in my mind was how it freed up the crew for the rest of the evening.  We were eager young men looking for adventures. After clean-up and the next morning’s breakfast set-up, we readied ourselves to go ashore.

Our ship soldiers were fed dinner and ready for rotation with the swing shift. These morning Marines were also our ride into town.  It would be the graveyard shift Marines who’d return us to the ship and we’d best be on their boat coming back this way.

Bright Lights & City Nights.  The Marines installed for safety on our ship, these very large lamps. They’d burn bright, one forward, one aft, and aimed down at the water surrounding our ship, all night, every night.  I must say I did feel rather unassailable with all that the Marines were doing to keep the ship, its contents, us included, safe, day and night.

Getting ahead of the story with a personal thought here; I wished I would carry an AK-47 with me whenever I went ashore.  Man I tell ya, once the soldiers allowed myself and a couple of the other guys to hold and get a feel for their weapons which had become an extension of their own bodies.  

Admittedly it grew on me real fast!  They demonstrated the gun and then offered to let us shoot them.  We were surprised but accepted the offer of course! The guys made certain we understood that we would only discharge the weapon into the ocean.  I fired off a few rounds aimed at the sea.

For many reasons I’ll say here and now, what an insane time that was.  War I mean and the way people’s thoughts change … doing things which under other circumstances may never have taken place?

|||

______________________________________________________________________________