Rowing mostly to be alone. Panic.

Volunteering at Jericho Sailing Centre has brought me in to contact with dozens of people who, it seems, get as much from the social contacts related to their on-the-water activities as the activities themselves. Sounds reasonable I assume.

Not me.

I row. And I row alone for the solitude it provides. My friends can’t get at me, I don’t answer my phone, I only text to say ‘I’m away,’ and ‘I’m ashore.’ Seems only fair to let people know that the float plan has worked out again. Besides, I’ve never wanted people out searching for me.

I’m unsettled, but not storming mad, and it shows in the struggle to write tonight. When I’m furious the words pour out. When I’m aggrieved about some injustice my fingers fly over the keyboard, the corrections necessary few and far between. But when I’m merely unsettled…

When I’m unsettled there is a sense that something needs to be written but I struggle to find it, to define it, to know it well enough to own it.

Panic.

I’ve found myself rowing in seriously upset water off Point Atkinson; so busy staying alive that nothing else entered my conscious mind. Only after the danger has been mitigated do I understand the degree of danger.

But today I paid a visit to my alma mater, UBC, hoping to find some interesting reading on the tables of heavily marked-down books. Silly. It’s only the beginning of the second week of August, classes don’t start until sometime in September and the bookstore is jammed with people.

I try to shop the stuff I’d normally check; you know, a quick stop at the MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op) boutique shop (not there because of renovations) and a couple other areas, electronics engineering and urban studies stuff.

But my heart rate starts to climb. I start to feel faint. I think, I wonder, am I heading for a seizure? I have to, absolutely have to get out of the store I have to. I can’t believe how I feel, how vulnerable, how frightened I feel and yet there is no sense that anyone around me can see anything unusual.

You know, when you’re drunk (well, I’ve only really been drunk 3 times in 60 years, so I think I think and imagine that other people also think…) and you imagine other people can see you making a fool of yourself… no sense of that at all.

Out the door. Go get a coffee. Sit down. And everything feels fine in a few minutes. I can’t even remember how horrid it felt to be trapped in the store, surrounded by people, the terrain (contrary to military training) has indeed changed.

That’s passed. But where did it come from? It’s never happened quite like that before. And earlier today I checked out of an event at Jericho, skippering a boat, there were enough other qualified people signed up. Out. Premonition? Circumstance?

OK. That one is done.

Certainly not my best post. Hell, maybe one of my worst posts. Done.

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