new year pivot

January 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Many people ask me privately how we are living on a boat full time in terms of work and finances. The answer is we are completely lucky and we work hard.

The first thing I will acknowledge is that there are many things beyond our control that make this possible, first and foremost of which are our families that we know would catch us if the boat sank. The practical and psychological effect of having supportive parents and siblings is emboldening for sure. Sailing is a lot about calculating risk, all risks are mitigated at their most extreme end by present and loving kin.

That is part of the luck.  The other part of the luck is that we really try to put ourselves in luck’s way.  Luck does not come and wake you up in the morning, tell you to get out of bed, put on your shoes or turn your mouth corners up into a smile.  You really can’t tell where luck might be, but it usually involves a fair amount of effort and interconnectedness.

Now to the part where we work hard. We work hard every day to live more and more simply. Have fewer expenses, fewer things that break, better health and stronger minds. We work hard to be good to our friends and family, and to be open and sweet to new people. To feed luck.

Right now, luck has brought us a temp job aboard a luxury yacht back up north, where I wear booties inside to not mess up the teak or carpet as I polish things and help the chef. Fabio tromps around on deck shoveling snow and readying the boat for departure to warmer climes. We miss our tiny floating home, but are really enjoying the experience, and savoring the feeling of recharging the bank account, especially knowing how far we can take each penny with our stripped-down lifestyle.

May you be happy, may you be free from fear, and may you put yourself in luck’s way this year!

This is for @_vanessavitale_ because I finally have some interesting footwear. #sealevelliving #solventin17

A photo posted by kate zidar (@plankton_every_day) on

grandmother’s memorial recap

December 6th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

This past weekend, we memorialized Helen Zidar with a Catholic mass, placement of her ashes, and a brunch with all the cousins. Her life spanned the coal patch, several wars, public housing, the rise of the unions, raising two kids, the unexpected death of her husband (my grandfather, Luke Zidar), the unexpected death of her daughter (my Aunt Audrey) and ultimately receiving her four grandkids and four more great grandkids for many visits, as her surviving son (my dad, Bernard Zidar) expertly managed her care and affairs.

These are the photos shown at her memorial brunch, as my dad narrated and those gathered joined in with memories of our ancestors and the great lives of Helen and Luke. At the end are a few photos I took from my vantage in the room, as well as a few shots of us at the house. I wish I would have gotten more photos of everyone, but I was too thoroughly enjoying meeting “new, old” cousins and catching up with people face-to-face.

Hooray and bon voyage to Helen, and say hello to G-pap for us.

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dear president

December 1st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Many of my acquaintances are writing good old fashioned letters lately, to their elected officials. This is for you, dears:

dmpp
ORDER HERE (this is real)

I have diligent friends who generously circulate their hand-crafted call lists and phone scripts, encouraging their circle to support the Water Protectors, watchdog political appointments, and bear witness to the uptick of hate crimes in Trump’s America.  I know some that battle in an online scrum and others who are organizing travel to protests.  For many reasons, I weigh how and where my own energy can be directed.

After swastikas with pro-Trump slogans were spray painted on the Brooklyn playground named after Adam “MCA” Yauch, late member of the Beastie Boys and avowed peace warrior, his former bandmate said the following:

“If you’re able to volunteer, volunteer…if you’re a musician, write that anthem. If you’re a writer, write. Take what you’re good at, and what you truly enjoy, and lend your services to the causes you care most about. ‘Cause we can’t, and we won’t, and we don’t stop.”

Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz

This struck me, because I have a hope that my most purposeful work lies ahead, but my next steps are (still) less than clear.

Side note – During the same event, Public Advocate Tish James sang “We Shall Overcome” with the gathered crowd, a mental image that gives me an attack of nostalgia for NYC and makes me wonder if there is a video out there pls?

Right now I watch those individuals and groups who have been doing this thing – those who have been engaged in resistance and will be for the long haul. I admire those who have steadily stoked a fire that fuels their ability to both row and steer.  I was shocked by the election outcome, but I have been even more impacted by those who are making new ways forward.  Specifically, I mean #BlackLivesMatter and #noDAPL, campaigns I view as expressions of pure love for humanity and the earth, respectively. If you try to tell me different, mind you are in for a long conversation with footnotes.

I try to steer clear of echo chambers and instead make eye contact and hear/learn/use people’s names right away. Traveling often makes me feel like my hands are cut off, like I have no pull in a place where people don’t know me. Lately, I’m moving more as a pilgrim, so that every wandering step has more purpose, and every stranger is the next opportunity for exchange.

I am still thinking of what I have to offer in that exchange besides postcards, tho.