2021 is the summer of reunion, as we emerge from our unnatural and self-imposed isolation and reconnect to one another, exulting in the social beings we are. How connected we have remained, in spite of time, distance and the sense of alienation resulting from social distancing. The concept of separateness is merely a construction of the ego; we are in fact connected at all times to each other and the natural world, the people and places etched in our minds that remind us of how completely we belong and how integral we are to the natural world.
Sailing to Wellfleet from Block Island, I listened to Michael Pollan read “Change Your Mind” and thought deeply about the construction of Self that is a feature of the brain’s Default Mode Network, which can be disrupted by deep states of mediation, as well as by tryptamines, compounds with psychedelic properties. The disruption allows the brain to forge new pathways, unconstrained by the strictures of the DMN. I understand more than ever why my son Jonah sought out these states of altered consciousness. I find them through meditation and during ocean passages when I experience myself as part of the vast, rolling ocean landscape.
In Wellfleet we reunited with my cousin Craig, two of his daughters, and four of his grandchildren. How lucky to arrive when they were all visiting! We also retrieved one of Christoph’s sculptures from the Cove Gallery, a place I had first seen his work several months before we met in 2002.
The sail to Gloucester, Massachusetts took us past the tip of the Cape, where whale watching vessels patrolled Stellwagen Bank in search of humpbacks. I spotted the water spouts before I saw one dive, its wing-shaped tail slicing through the deep green ocean surface. A thrill and an omen, a reminder that Jonah is out here in the vast sea and with me under the sheltering sky.
Reunited with my dear old friends today, Karen and Mark, and Ruthie and Andy, my heart is full and happy.