Journal Dispatches: June 1, 2021. Writer-in-Exile

Sue DeGregorio-Rosen

Chesapeake Bay – a marina. Somewhere along the shoreline of the lower bay. 

Click. The sound of a camera release after taking a photograph. Boats of every description are moored alongside the docks. A number of boats are for sale. The purchase price is one matter, the cost of maintenance, fuel, docking fees are another. It depends on what one is seeking and for what purpose.  

I thought about it before heading inland. To exist on water or not. If I had the resources to purchase a two-masted ketch I’d do it and have the words Writer-in-Exile painted on the transom. It would be symbolic of the varied geographical locations from which I have written, jotted and scribbled down notes to myself – physical and emotional impressions, philosophical notations and abstract thoughts. Later I’d type them on my laptop and or desktop computer. I could live on a boat without ever starting the motor to head out to the open seas. The name also expresses an attitude.

Invariably, wherever I have found myself working and living someone would ask me where I call home, and if I could live any place in the world where would it be, and in some locations might add what was I doing “here” when I could have been experiencing a more liberal and intellectually stimulating place. 

I have maintained that wherever my body is, there is my home, though my mind is always on a journey, trek or voyage and never quite seduced by the immediate scenes outside the windows of my eyes unless worthy of immediate and necessary attention. It’s true that expansive views broaden the mind’s eye entreating the response of adaptation and exploration.

And so, I appreciate the diverse nature of grace and have always considered the notion that the smile in the morning is of greater significance than the smile in the evening no matter the latitude and longitude of my body.

My dilemma in my treks around the globe is a matter of sleep whether on a boat, in a beach house, townhouse, apartment, Quonset hut or tent. A healthy alert body and mind need sleep, but it seems it cuts into the brevity of my existence and also my most provocative inklings happen to be percolating from my brain during the late-night hours, which means getting out of bed and writing or not going to bed too early…that is, before midnight.

I write for the sake of my soul not for my pocketbook or wallet regardless of the evidence of capitalism and that we live in an oligarchy, not a Republic nor a true democracy. Cultism mixed in with greed thrives in a celebrity conscious country. Populism is pervasive as is financial posturing no matter where I travel – all people suffer from the inequities created by the few. Like a pandemic there is no fairness. 

I once drove up a mountain on the California coast just to figure out what to write in the quiet of a small, rustic, empty temple that faced the Pacific. It was a striking, clear day. A breeze swept over the ocean. I felt alive. I knew what I had to write.