Wednesday, October 24, 2007

navigation

My window overlooks the harbor and all day long I can watch the moored sailboats rocking in the current and the container ships on their way to and from port, shepherded by stubby tugboats. Every half hour, a green or blue-striped ferry crosses the channel, sometimes empty, sometimes crowded with passengers who stand on the deck, staring backwards at the unfurling wake. I once saw a fleet of three-hulled catamarans idling towards the docks after a race and, in the summer, there's usually at least one tall ship, anachronistically square-rigged, all three masts flying sails.

Everything moves deliberately through the harbor and, if you watch long enough, the message becomes clear. The sea carries all boats and, as long as their hulls clear the shoals, it doesn't matter that the water is darkly opaque, the depths unimaginable. And though from where I sit, I can't read the satellite signals or calculate the lines of position, the sailors always seem to know exactly where they're going.


The photos were taken from the path that runs around the back of the building.

20 comments:

slouching mom said...

beautiful words, beautiful images. your blog is a visual feast.

Ruby said...

Great pictures.

I want your view.

LAS said...

Cool pictures. My office overlooks Lake Michigan and the park/Monroe Harbor. The boats are almost gone from the harbor though. Sometimes I get to work early enough to watch the sun come up over the lake - which is quite beautiful! I have a really deep windowsill - sometimes I sit in it.

thailandchani said...

Oh, this is really beautiful! :) It sounds like a wonderful place to live.

niobe said...

Thailandchani: Though it sometimes seems as if I live there, I really only work there.

Magpie said...

Lovely. From the photos it seems that your office building is right ON the water?

I once worked in a highrise in lower Manhattan, with a splendid and mesmerizing view of the harbor. I don't know how I got anything done.

niobe said...

Magpie: It's on a little pennisula that juts out into the harbor. If I had a rock (like yours, maybe) and my window could be opened, I might be able to throw it into the water, but more likely would hit one of the people sitting at the tables next to the water.

meg said...

Love these shots--the texture of the rock and the weightlessness of the water together is too cool.

painted maypole said...

the view out your window sounds fantastic!

Julia said...

great shots.
I am pretty sure my view, once I start this new job, will be nothing like that. Buildings, buildings everywhere... Jealous? Why, yes I am.

Beruriah said...

I've been on that very path! I think I know where you work....

niobe said...

I think I know where you work.... (cue ominous music)


Cool. It sounds like I may have my very own personal stalker.

I'm just kidding, Beruriah. Really I am. Really.

Monica said...

Jealous but glad I don't have that view because I'd never get any work done. I have four small windows in my classroom with metal grids over them so people can't break into to my classroom. Or is it to keep the students in? Hmmm...

Which Box said...

Wow! great view, am very jealous. But how many months of the year is it that nice?

MissedConceptions said...

I am working on my hommage a Niobe, and I knew it would not be complete without photos. This is a perfect Niobe post to mimic/emulate, so I will work on my ode over the weekend.

susan said...

You will have to ask, in another post, what your readers policies are about posting photos of identifiable rocks.

While this isn't as poetic as what you often quote, your post today reminds me of one of my favorite camp songs, "Barges." Silently flows the river to the sea, and the barges too go silently

Jitters said...

I do wish I were one of those boats that always seem to know where they are going.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I miss the ocean that I once lived on. Sailors do know where they are going and where they came from :)

I know you can hear me... said...

Gorgeous - the post, the pictures, the whole package!

Christine said...

"the sailors always seem to know where they are going."

i wish i did. or at least that i looked like that.