September 12, 2019
Paul shares the joy of early morning with this reluctant night owl. “There’s a spiderweb.” He pulls me to the sliding door with the brisk air beckoning in the garden. There is a rainbow in the tree, an orb spider has cast a web to catch the sun. It glitters in crystalline perfection to prove that mornings are ok.
So I’m surprised when I ask him on this night of a full orb moon suspended in the indigo sky, if he is afraid of anything, and he tells me, “Spiders.” Then he amends it. He’s not afraid of spiders, just doesn’t like them. I think on his ability to accommodate rather than reject. And I become afraid for him.
For I think about The Jaws. People have been out the mouth of the harbor at Moss Landing in kayaks, even on paddle boards. They want to see whales feeding while the krill is pooling at the entrance to the harbor, which the sailors call “The Jaws.” Boats pass through this channel formed by man made jetties to get to Monterey Bay, a passage made by steeling one’s nerves, for The Jaws dump you directly at the head of the mile deep canyon with its frigid water. The water flowing from Elkhorn Slough has been sun warmed from the shallow, narrow inlets of the estuary, mingled with the heated water from the power plant at Moss Landing. The merger of hot and cold water creates turbulence at the mouth of the harbor. Captains and crew must be courageous, or fools. It is not a passage for small craft, children, or the unwary.
Paul is taking a kayak tour out of Point Lobos this morning. The inlets and coves remind me of The Jaws, and I can’t imagine kayaks there. He hasn’t seen many. Although the water is different down the coast, it is the ocean. It is unpredictable. I am glad he is cautious. He is courage personified. But he works for fools.
If he was just doing this for himself, just to experience an adventure on the water in one of the most beautiful places in the world, I’d have no fears. He could take care of himself and be home to cook chicken stir fry in the evening. But it’s other people I worry about, and his desire to make them happy, or what they think will make them happy. It will be his self-appointed responsibility to make sure everyone comes through safe and satisfied with what they have done. There are too many things that could go wrong here.
But tell Paul not to do something, and he’ll not hear it. There’s always good reasons why he should go ahead regardless. So maybe this is why his ladies, those other women of his past, have resorted to manipulating him, or as he puts it, requiring him to be adaptable with the women in his life.
I claim to not be manipulative, but I have to pull up here, and think about myself, and just how I have caused him to do accept ourselves as a couple, and how we came to be together. And even if I am not a web spinner, more like a jumping spider, those tiny, fierce, fearless hunters who hurtle themselves into the air, I am still a spider. Even though I am not actively in pursuit of a man and plotting and planning how to trap one, it seems I have caught one.
And it is my self-appointed responsibility to cherish and care for him, which includes not letting the ocean take him away from me. But it is also my self-appointed responsibility, not to tangle him up in my fears and projections.
So I wake up this morning, trying to slip away and not wake him by my absence by his side, but he wakes up regardless, as I write this. And I still have a quandary about the beauty of spiderwebs and the cunning of spiders, and how I am crafting our relationship in ways that might be detrimental to him. And I do not know how to tell him I don’t think he should kayak at Point Lobos because I want him to come home safe to be with me.
So I just have to tell him.
Paul, I’m worried about you taking a kayak tour at Point Lobos today.