Sailing Away in Santa Monica Bay
Sometimes, the holidays can be rough. They were for me this year. My mother has been doing her best to take care of herself, but at 81 she's not holding her own. My heart goes out to her.I do hope to see her again although it might not be in her home of 35 years.
It wasn't until I got home to California for New Year's Eve that I started to feel like myself again thanks to the love and support of Carolisa Pomerantz.. What I needed next was time on the water.
Skipper Evan Sandler was good enough to invite a congenial crew to sail with him on his Catalina 30 sloop during the first non-holiday weekend of 2011. Evan, Brenda Varma, and Alla Zhdanova and I have all sailed together before, so we knew what to do and how to do it, so it was a stress free time on the water. Compared to New England at Christmas, I didn't find it cold.
Since I sold my own sailboat I missed the feeling of being on the helm, so I was grateful to have a chance to get back on a wheel, reacting to subtle changes in wind and sea, balanced at the fulcrum of the elements. When I was a mere spectator on Evan's boat, I simply relaxed and let the music of the ocean wash over me.
The conversation was respectful and congenial despite the fact that our political perspectives were across the map, from Democrat to Republican. None of us knew that while we sailed, a moderate Congresswoman was being shot in an assassination attempt.
As I wrote a friend after the shooting, although I don’t own a gun, I’m a good shot and hate to think that Americans can no longer be trusted with firearms. Growing up in Boston, I have never had any problem with defending myself, and would not hesitate to use deadly force if necessary, but was appalled by the carnage in Arizona.
When I was in college, I was considered a Conservative because I wasn't ready to dodge the draft. Although my perspective hasn't changed much, today I'm thought to be a Liberal. Those are only labels. I deeply believe in health and by extension, protection of our environment. I believe in freedom of choice, until your decisions impinge on my own. I support equality. I also believe that we should look after the less fortunate and if the very wealthy have to do with one less home or sports car to send a worthy student to a public school, so be it.
It's distressing when reasonable people can no longer disagree without fearing violent repercussions. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' Tea Party opponent hosted a campaign event during the 2010 election where he invited voters to shoot an M-16 as part of a rally to defeat Giffords. How is a deranged mind suppposed to react to a display of force like that? Yes, I do support free speech, but I also believe in civility and good taste.
Today I consider myself lucky that I count as friends people both further to the left and further to the right of me, but that we talk with each other, not always agreeing, but respecting each others' points of view as legitimate. I never though that politics would intrude on this anti-aging blog, but due to the shooting in Arizona this past weekend at least half a dozen Americans will age no more.
Alla Zhdanova Brenda Varma Evan Sandler
photo of Paul Suchecki by Alla ZhdanovaAnti-Aging Diary c. 2011 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor