Woolly’s. Again.


Beltane                                                                      Full Last Frost Moon

The meeting last night.  The note written late last night did not do this meeting justice.  The guest, Jay, told stories of his father, a Metropolitan Life Insurance Executive who hated his job, kept a print of racing sailboats gunnels in the water as they rounded a turn across from his desk and retired, in 1959 at the age of 55, picked up the family, put them in the sail boat and made their way to Ft. Lauderdale where he had bought a house.   Jay’s father, he said, attracted trouble.  He had 25 diseases, sailed through four typhoons and two hurricanes and had numerous close calls while sailing.  Jay’s openness about his relationship with his father, “We disagreed on everything, except sailing.  Sailing we could be together, often without talking.” made many of us reflect on our fathers.  Few of us in the Woollies had dad’s with whom we had a positive bond.

Jay also spoke of two other powerful subjects.  The Gulf Stream, at points 40 miles wide and three miles deep, moving at 4 knots, keeping England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and parts of Europe temperate rather than freezing, has a vitality and strength, a magnetic pull to sailors.  His father’s ashes were cast into the Gulf Stream as, Jay says, his, too, will be someday.

The second is his creative work which focuses on expressing the unrevealed, the dark places where we think we’ve been, but where we’ve actually only touched the surface.  Much like the ocean?

Scott told of his opportunity, turned his way by his ex-wife, also a drummer, to play percussion in an off-broadway musical beginning its initial work in Aspen this June.  It’s a 4 and 1/2 week gig, paid, and he gets to be with his son, Corey, at the same time.  The music is a blend of jazz and rock and roll, music Scott’s always wanted to play.

Mark O. goes under the knife today (nope, next Tuesday.  I stand corrected.) for a new knee and Jay does, too, to have a gall bladder removed.  Paul and Sarah Strickland have helped found an organization, 10,000 Friends of the Maine Coast, which has ambitions to create sustainable jobs and, perhaps, expand down the Eastern seaboard.  Frank took pot roast to a friend of Mary’s undergoing chemotherapy and plans to go back on Thursday with some more.  Tom Crane had weekend a crammed full of ex-spouse in-law’s and the ex-spouse at one point–of Roxann.  Bill spoke about Regina, the reality they have to face, the difficulties and blessings involved.  A tough place, full of paradox.  Brother Mark talked about reverse culture shock from his return, 22 years later, to the American mainland.  “America is such a virile place, bursting with energy.  Hard to absorb.  Yes.”

It was a strong meeting, full of feeling and heartbreak and joy and confusion.  Real life.

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