writing what we know

I was reminded today of the value of writing what we know. I went out with my family on a short kayaking trip across Baynes Channel to Discovery Island. Just a short trip, but it reminded me of so many things about kayaking: the sound of the water licking at the paddle as it dips in, the rocking of the boat when the current catches it, the dry feeling of salt on the skin when water drops from the paddles. I remembered how the boat feels slow and lagging when I’m paddling in a following sea, and the strange feeling that produces when I look to shore and realise the I’m actually moving really quickly. I also remembered the joy of being among rocks and seaweed and tall sea grasses on a pebbly beach with sharp white shells and bone bleached logs, how fantastic even the simplest of food tastes in the out of doors, how happy even teen aged boys are when they have nothing to do but hang out on a beach and watch eagles circle in the air and seals loll on a rock. These are all things I can write about, because I know them, deeply, in my body, my memory, my bones, which is a good thing, because so much of writing is mysterious and unknown.

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