Save for a photograph, I am unable to recall—even with feigned clarity—my first experience on the water. It must have been when I was approximately five or six years of age. The only photograph I possess of that day is mounted on the wall near my bedroom door. We (my mother, brother, and I; my father presumably the photographer) may have been boarding a ferry. I’ll have to inquire further about this event and perhaps I’ll report my findings. (And who knows, I might feel inclined to include the photograph, too.)
Some weeks ago, I found myself on a boat trip for the commemoration of a man’s life. Despite the lugubrious occasion, the mirth and conviviality that often axiomatically follow during heartfelt reminiscences was welcomed and encouraged. As a primate mammal, I was surprised to find myself relaxed at sea. I beheld almost nothing but water. Tiny ships and a faded shore could be glimpsed on the horizon, but nothing more. Water surrounded me on all sides. The rhythmic splashing of the waves against the hull provided the perfect background noise to help me plunge into deep reverie. Loftily drifting through mind-forged hallucinations, I found a kind of serenity. By serenity, I mean to say that, momentarily, I had forgotten my terrestrial responsibilities like my job, grad school applications, undergrad school loans—debt in general.