on dreams deferred.

sausalito
About 10 years ago in the middle of winter, my Dad bought a book about tying sailing knots. It was the time of year when the nights are long and spent inside - the time of year filled with the restlessness that leads to new distractions in the form of "hobbies".  My Dad's big dream has always been to own a sailboat.  The very nature of our last name - Shorey - means that we are people that crave water.

That summer we had been to Sausalito.  It wasn't the first time we'd be there. My mother and father spent the seventies finding themselves, and eventually each other , in San Francisco. This trip was a family tradition.

Every year, we'd walk the docks and pick out a boat to "buy". We'd scoff at the silly names like Yachts of Fun and choose something simpler and more straightforward. Maybe Haven, a word that means "place of refuge". Then we'd pick specifics: city view or ocean side? Sausalito or Coronado? If we couldn't choose, we'd agree on both.

I've been thinking about that knot book a lot lately.  Maybe it's part of being in your twenties. You begin to see your parents as people, really. You wonder about dreams they deferred or lost along the way to being the person you now know.

I want so desperately for him to be happy. And if not happy now, at least still hopeful. His hair has started to gray at the corners. I'm afraid his future feels folded up and packed away. 

When we stand on the dock, the dream spreads out again like bay. The hills rise up behind us. Life here can be how we both hoped it would be.

And so, Sausalito lives on.

(photo) on film with Pentax K1000 (p.s.) more Sausalito on film
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15 comments:

  1. Oh Sam.

    This made me teary-eyed. I've been struggling to put into words what you expressed so perfectly.

    Thank you :)

    -M

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  2. it's such a tender feeling when we begin to worry about our parents' happiness, livelihood, well-being - the way they have worried about us - transitioning into being an adult child. it's such a navigation. thanks for writing it so gently.

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  3. Yes, I want this for my parents too. They've been divorced for about 10 years now and my mom has yet to start dating again. I want her to find love! I want her to have hope that love is even out there to find! And my dad is in what looks like an unhappy marriage, and I'm just sad for him too. It's so odd when you get to the point that you start thinking of parents as more than just parents. It hurts my heart, in a way.

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    1. jackie, it hurt my heart in a way too. It's just a tenuous place to be in - since it's difficult to hand out advice to your parents because they're ... well, your parents! But, thinking about them being lonely is heart breaking. I understand!

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  4. This is a wonderful post, Sam! I hope your dads dreams come true and the ones of my parents too..

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  5. I so relate to this post, Sam. I've always been worried about my dad, knowing that my mom would be the one to go first. I was surprised over the last year to see him do things like buy a pickup truck for himself, or rearrange furniture in his bedroom, or ask about making family vacation plans. I was worried that when she passed away that he would feel like his life had ended, too. I think sometimes he does feel that way - who wouldn't? - but there are still signs that he's finding small yet meaningful ways to keep living. What a relief that is.

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    1. oh Bethany, that's so encouraging to hear (and I often have the same worry about my own dad). One of the pieces of advice in the book Meg recommended by Dear Sugar is that life happens "on the level of the gesture." These are small gestures towards putting life back together, and continuing to reach.

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  6. So, I'm a new here and I want to be your best friend. You have an amazing blog. Newest follower (and stalker). Lovely lovely!

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    1. Oh gosh, that's so nice to hear since I OFTEN feel that way when I read a new blog. Let's be friends!

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  7. This is excellent. I think it's something we all grapple with but can't quite put into words as well as you have. It makes me want my hugs to be a little tighter and "thank you"s a little heartier next time I see my parents.

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    1. Melissa, I'm happy to hear I'm not alone on this! People all move at different paces in their twenties, and I know a lot of people who still very much depend on their parents and don't quite understand the responsibility (and at times, concern) I feel about my Dad + his happiness. Thanks for commiserating.

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  8. I have the same feelings about my dad, both my parents actually - I want them both to be so happy. I know they want the same for me. I do think part of growing up is starting to see your parents as people.

    This was beautifully written.

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  9. my parents lived in sausalito when they were first married! this is a beautiful post. from what ive read about your dad he seems like an exceptional person!

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    1. Finding love in San Francisco - maybe that's why we're both so drawn there! (and yes, my dad is THE best!)

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  10. Oh sweet Sam, this caused a lump to rise in my throat. Beautifully expressed.

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