Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Godspeed, Bill

Although I have my rare reclusive moments and can sometimes be obscure, I know that one thing unites me with all of the world: a healthy sense of hedonism.
Not epicurean excess. Not lazy high-living indulgence.
I'm talking about how a certain activity -- for instance, sailing -- can bring the highest sense of satisfaction -- a transcendent, mystical reminder of the fullness of all of life's joys.
When I am filled with this kind of joy (and rum is not always a requisite element), all the scenery around me hums with a calming and energizing glow.
And all about me are shipmates.
I think that you, gentle reader, having gotten this far on the page, are a shipmate. We can share that title with a welder in Gdansk. A Senator. A farmhand. A dancer. A former CIAgent/teevee star who went to Yale and wrote some books.
And enjoyed a good run on a beam reach.
I'm not talking about the guy who worked for Nixon. I'm not talking about the guy who defined "conservative" for most of the world for most of the Twentieth Century. I'm sure as Hell not talking about the the guy with the, frankly, weird views on white southerners. I'm not even talking about the guy who pissed off Ayn Rand, (which makes him a HERO with a capital H-E-R-O.)
I'm talking about the guy who stood at the helm with an eye to the telltales and a feel for the swells beneath him.
My friend Michael's dad ran a ship outfitter's in Honolulu, and is rumored to have outfitted Buckley's ship (NOT the Suzie Wong -- pj) for a big blue water cruise that required only "scotch to port and vodka to starboard." Buckley's awful sailing journal compilation book Racing Through Paradise is sort of the misinterpretable anti-Wanderer.
But I read it. And I still feel the camaraderie that is the sea.
Because the words don't matter when the sea is "boisterous" and the main needs mending.
And that's why I feel I need to say,

"'Bye, Bill."


ThirdMate said...

Although, after reading this by bitterandrew at Armagideon Time, I feel that within 6 issues, a newly-rejuvenated Buckley will come back with Mjolnir and hit Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly, and Russert in the junk.

karie said...

Ohhhh, how I miss the "boisterous" sea.

Well then...