For a time I commuted between our guest house at Lille Maho on St. John and school on St. Thomas. This meant my day started around 5 in the morning. I'd get up, eat breakfast then Mom and I walked a quarter of a mile on an rocky trail (pretty much in the dark) over a hill to get to where the jeep was parked. By that time it was about 6:15 or so. The jeep ride to Cruz Bay took at least 30 to 40 minutes, most of it over a dirt road. From Cruz Bay I caught the 7 AM ferry to Red Hook on St. Thomas. From there I got on the jitney that dropped me off at Garden Street in down town Charlotte Amalie. Then I walked about four blocks up Garden Street to arrive at All Saints with plenty of time to get settled before school started at 8 AM.
Reverse the process and I usually got home somewhere between 5 and 5:30 PM. It was a long day.
One time I was on the ferry going back to St. John and behind me were a tourist couple talking between themselves. I was probably reading something, a homework assignment or a book for which a report was due. The 30 minute boat ride was a good time to get school work in. Realize that St. John and St. Thomas are separated by three miles of ocean called Pillsbury Sound. Here the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea mix, a swirl of currents and tides. It can be calm and flat as a bowl of mercury (like the picture above) or it can be a tempest with waves ten or more feet high, baring its fanged white caps.
We're talking the ocean, here.
As I sat there I heard the woman ask the man, "Are we on a river or a lake?"
How could someone travel (either by plane or ship) all that way and not know where she was going. And then once there, not know where she was?
Writing can sometimes be like this. We can write and write and write believing we know where we're going, only to discover we've lost our way, that we don't know where we are in the story, don't know where we're going.
It's happened to me...I've been that woman. Am I on a river or lake? What a surprise to discover I'm floundering in an ocean of words that isn't going anywhere at all!
What about you? Ever been lost at sea?