Midpoint Shift

It’s getting to be that time where people on board get quite and become more introverted. There’s a lot of noise in people’s silent expressions. One that reads: “…well, this has been fun…but…” I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve noticed my routine the last few days has shifted from wanting independence to needing some sort of community…but a form of community that doesn’t need to fill the silence with small talk and chatter.

In the evenings after dinner, people play their instruments. Adam plays the guitar, Georges is on the fiddle, and Tony is on the mandolin. They play while people continue to work, or read, or knit (…that’s me). Other people are there simply to enjoy the music.

Some nights Susan and I play cards with anyone else who wants to play and we teach each other new games. Susan is a really wonderful person with a free spirit, so sometimes the rounds of cards are interrupted with her jumping up to polka all the way down the hall - with absolutely no concern that she was the only one doing so. I was infected with her spirit the other night and asked her to teach me to waltz and polka and anything else. “Wait, wait, you need to play that one again,” I’d shout, never fully getting the waltz down pat.

While I was knitting the other night, listening to the music, and enjoying the scene of everyone, I had to smile. This is a special moment.

The fiddle makes me miss my brother Brian though. I know he’d love the music they play. And anything that has anything to do with mechanical engineering technology makes me think of my brother Erik. I wish he could be here whenever we have a tour to go on. I just image him picking the captain’s brain, trying to figure out exactly how the equipment works. And anytime I talk to Bill, the photographer, I think of my brother Adam. Bill and I have been swapping knowledge: I teach him about animations and he teaches me about photography.

We’ve had a ‘dress like Adam Klaus Day’ on board, which required all participants to wear a tank top and gym shorts. If you didn’t have a tank top, you cut up an old shirt. The phrase, “free your shoulders, free your mind” was said as much as possible. Standing outside that day, I flexed my muscles and imitated my brother Michael 'Suns Out, Guns Out.’ And I wished that he was there. And anytime I sit outside to watch the water, I think of my sister and want her to be on the next lounge chair over reading something, laughing whenever I make a ‘that’s what she said’ joke, especially at the ones that make no sense.