Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living

Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living.
Welcome to our blog "Coastal Creations & Design." We hope that you'll visit us often and read about our favorite coastal destinations, beach-inspired products, inviting seaside spaces, original artists works and people living the coastal lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Driftwood Lamps: Beachcombed Creations For Your Coastal Home

A day of successful driftwood hunting, Allen Graves paddles our findings home.

As the 2011 holiday season is now coming to an end with the new years is just a few days away, my current mind set is now focused on the new year and great endeavors that lye around the bend. Fortunately, a driftwood hunt with my good friend Allen Graves is just that. So in a few weeks, we plan to return to our favorite hunting ground and brave the frigid winter weather and icy cold water via wading and paddling a canoe along the banks of the Rappahannock River. Allen's cousin owns at least a miles worth of private desolate riverfront property along the Rappahannock, an estuary from the southern section of the Chesapeake Bay. Here's a link to the first blog covering a previous driftwood outing. Just click on the link here to:  Driftwood Art & Furnishings: Re-Purposed Beach Finds For the Coastal Home.

Our last one-day hunting expedition last fall turned out to be quite fruitful and we gathered a number of wonderful water worn and sun-bleached cedar that is found in abundance washed up on the empty beaches or toppled off a cliff from a harsh nor'easter. Exceptional gnarled and twisted pieces of driftwood, sun-baked to a silvery patina with rich aromas of spicy cedar. Magnificent- the perfect sculptured wood created by nature and it's changing  seasonal weather that produce these beautiful  torsos and branches of wood for us to work with.

So, before we get underway, I'd like to share with you a few of the driftwood lamp creations that we have recently produced  here in our Skipjack design studio located in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia. We hope to create other unique driftwood  sculptures and coffee tables, perfect for the coastal home.

Custom made driftwood lamp with burlap covered shade.
Close-up of cedar lamp base.

The first of the driftwood lamps (shown above) was produced from one piece of driftwood and has a broader, more horizontal appearance. Great gnarled cedar with light-brown color and sun-bleached appearance. Pieces like these require a larger table to display and use, though I love these as a counter-top or bar light. Stands 25 1/2 inches tall. Here's a link to the beachcombed driftwood lamp CJE002.

Cedar driftwood lamp with burlap shade.
Driftwood lamp base.
This driftwood lamp was also produced out of single section of a driftwood cedar with a silvery-gray sun-bleached patina. The center rod we've  used is painted off-white with authentic milk paint making it less obtrusive than brass. Comes with a custom-made driftwood lamp finial from the same cut of the cedar driftwood.  Measures 29" tall. Here's a link to the lamp on our website: Beachcombed driftwood lamp CJE003.

Driftwood lamp finial.

A cedar driftwood lamp produced in Skipjack's design studio.

Close-up of driftwood base.
 The next driftwood lamp, also produced out of  cedar is larger in scale featuring beautiful gnarled root section with great color and patina. We've sealed this lamp using numerous thin clear coats to enhance the wood color with a glossy patina. This lamp features an oval shaped beige fabric lamp shade that matches the color of the wood and comes with one of our handcrafted monkey's fist lamp finials.  Follow the link here for more information on this beachcombed driftwood lamp CJE001. Beachcombed driftwood lamp.

Cedar driftwood lamp with black base and shade.
The last of our recent lamp productions features a section of cedar selected from a larger piece to create a smaller lamp where size is a consideration.  We added a gloss-black painted round wood base with molded edge and a drum shaped black fabric shade to give it a more dramatic look.  Wonderful small size for an occasional or bedside lamp. Stands 24 1/2 inches tall.  Here's the link to this driftwood lamp CJE004.

Beachcombed sun-bleached cedar driftwood.
 We will post pictures and information of our newest furnishings created in our design studio from our upcoming trip to the Rappahannock River. Hopefully you may find just the right lamp, sculpture or table to use as part of your coastal home decor!

* Environmentally sustainable furniture is a fairly new concept in the marketplace, though here at Skipjack we have been utilizing this concept for many years. Simply defined, sustainable furniture and furnishings, also known as Eco Furniture is constructing furniture using materials which are recycled or re-purposed such as wood, metals and glass. The Skipjack design studio utilizes many shipboard items that are removed from retired ships in foreign and domestic shipyards as well as natural materials such as locally found driftwood, boards and vintage fisherman's materials to produce one of a kind nautical/coastal furniture and furnishings!  Here's a link to see other examples from  Natural driftwood sculptures, lamps and furnishings by C. Joseph Elder.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Mariner nautical rope bracelet in navy blue with stainless steel shackle clasp.

Looking for a new attractive accessory to dress up your nautical attire? Look no farther-  the new Skipjack MARINER nautical rope bracelet  for men, women or children is the perfect accoutrement for your coastal lifestyle!  This affordable nautical bracelet features a reef knot tied with navy nylon cord and uses a stainless steel shackle, making it easy to get on and off. The Mariner bracelet is perfect for boaters, surfers, beach goers or anyone that enjoys being in or around the water- quick drying nylon and stainless steel shackle won't rust! Bracelets are available with small (7/8" long) or large (1-1/8" long) shackles

The Mariner nautical rope bracelet for men and women

Skipjack's Mariner bracelets are sold by their actual length to the half inch. For best fit measure the diameter of your wrist with a cloth measuring tape or wrap a piece of string around your wrist and then measure the length of the string against a ruler. We have found most people select a bracelet 1" - 1-1/2" larger than their wrist size. Please call or email for sizes smaller or larger than listed.

The Mariner nautical rope bracelet is now available exclusively at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery

The  Skipjack Mariner nautical rope bracelet will easily ship in a Small Flat Rate box by USPS Priority Mail in the USA for approximately $5.00!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Can Now Buy Your Own Piece of Paradise

Bora Bora Blue Heaven Island Paradise in the French Polynesian Islands

Have you ever wanted to own your piece of island paradise? Ready to trade it all in and move to Bora Bora? Well, I don't know about you but I can certainly say that it has certainly crossed my mind here and up the rat race in exchange for the island lifestyle, sitting back in a lounge chair basking in the sun with a cool tropical breeze on my face and sipping on a freshly made pina colada and dipping your toes into crystal clear water! Sounds to good to be true...well if you're gutsy enough to give it a go and have fairly deep pockets, this could be your calling.

Bora Bora Blue Heaven Island Paradise property LAX to Borra.  Own your own Private island! Blue Heaven Island sits approximately one mile north east of Tevairoa. A 5 acre section on the island Motu Paahi. Auction is for lots 5, 6 & 7 comprising of 5 acres. Bidding: Interested parties are required to contact the auction house prior to bidding. Known as the pearl of French Polynesia, Bora Bora is the single most famous island in the world. Yet, when you visit this quiet, uncrowded, unspoiled haven, you will become part of a truly unique experience known only to a very few. Between the deep blue Pacific and the crystal clear Bora Bora Lagoon, sits Blue Heaven Island. This beautiful 5 acre property on a small island motu can accommodates a total of 10-15 people, providing a private haven of relaxation and exclusivity. Surrounded by magnificent waters of infinite depths and color ... you are now steps to heaven.

This secret gem has been a 4.5 Star rated destination getaway with quality island bungalows: "our Quaint bungalows are tucked away between Palm trees, lush plant life, and vibrant flora. Every bungalow on the island is just steps away from our private beach. Each quarter is the essence of simple island living. The cozy bungalows are made of indigenous bamboo and equipped with all the amenities, including private bathrooms, large closets, and ceiling fans. Installation run on solar energy (photovoltaï roofs and solar water-heater) and the water system is feed with a well and rain. Wake up to gentle breezes, the sounds of the seashore, and early risers can walk a few steps and catch the luminous sunrise as it lights up the crystal clear lagoon.

Blue Paradise Island cottages.

Owner Monique La Voie had always dreamed of island living. After traveling to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and other islands around the world, she found her little piece of heaven on beautiful Bora Bora in French Polynesia, and named it Blue Heaven Island. Now you can own this exclusive private island.

Blue Heaven Island, Bora Bora is up for auction in the French Polynesian Islands

Are you ready? Well here's the information that could make this into a reality for you! Blue Heaven Island is up for auction, Friday, June 24th with an estimated auction price of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 with a starting bid of $2,500,000 and no buyers premium. What are you waiting for! Just follow the link and make your dream a reality! Live Auctioneers Blue Heaven Island.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Folky Fish" Featured at the 2011 Marine Folk Art Show

"Folky Grouper" three dimensional wall hanging by Joe Marinelli

Joe Marinelli  has been carving fish for more than 15 years and his folky fish are creations he's developed throughout that time. He loves to  carve and paint in a folk art style with exaggerated fins, lips & eyes  and decorated with bright Island/ Key West colors. Joe's favorite  fish to create is a hanging full scale three dimensional carving of a grouper. What's not to love about this fish-it's folky fabulous!

"Folky Fish" cabinet by Joe Marinelli.

"Woodworking is part of me, Joe stated.  My grandfather was a cabinet maker from Italy." He started building his own furniture when he was 22 and over the past few years started incorporating fish carvings into his furniture. His inspiration for his fish comes from kayaking bodies of water around his lake community in Millville, New Jersey. He observes nature through his frequent outings and interprets them into his dynamic carvings.

Joe Marinelli's "Folky Fish" carvings in colorful Key West colors.

I first saw Joe Marinelli's carving in an art magazine article that featured his carvings with other folk artwork. I loved them and had to have them in our gallery.  There colorful, folky, a bit outrageous, contemporary,  unique and I love to look at them each and every day.

Folky Sailfish by Joe Marinelli

Joe's folky fish wall art and furnishings is perfect for the coastal home decor and I can see these used in so many interior applications. Though his art style is defined, each of his pieces are one-of-a-kind originals.

"Folky Grouper" by Joe Marinelli on display at a Virginia Beach coastal home.

What's next? Joe's now working on creating folk-carved dining room table and a three dimensional whale carving. Now that's a whale of an idea and I can't wait to see this!

You can preview the latest creations by Joe Marinelli at Skipjack Nautical Marine Galleries 2011 Marine Folk Art show (June 3rd through June 29, 2011). You can also see Joe Marinelli's folky fish collection by visiting his page under Skipjack's Marine Art division.

It’s a folksy collection of whales, mermaids, fish, fowl, carvings, paintings, models, trade signs, weathervanes folk and sailor art. Some are whimsical, others memorable, but they are all simply delightful. The 2011 Marine Folk Art Show at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery! The show runs through Wednesday, June 29, 2011. It’s the greatest folk show in town!

*The 2011 Marine Folk Art Show was featured in the summer edition of Sea History Magazine!

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery is located in Olde Towne Portsmouth on the riverside of the historic Seaboard Railroad Building next to the High Street Basin and ferry landing. Our front doors face the Elizabeth river and are just a few steps away from the historic Hog Island Lighthouse Fresnel lens! Open Monday through Saturday 10AM to 5 PM. sunday 1PM to 4 PM. Other times by appointment. (757) 399-5012

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seriously Seaworthy Nautical Belts for Men. Our Top Picks for the Spring Season

Kiel James Patrick Croffix Sailing Belt

Are you searching for the best nautical belts to complete your spring wardrobe? Well here's a selection of our "Top Picks" of the season together with a few of our all time favorite seriously sea-worthy nautical  inspired belts that will certainly satisfy even the saltiest of tastes and perfect for your coastal lifestyle!

Skipjack's classic nautical flag belt for men
Show your colors aboard your yacht with Skipjack's classic men's nautical flag belt is perfect to wear with your favorite khakis, jeans, or corduroys. This cotton web ribbon belt for all seasons has full grain drum-dyed leather billet and buckle ends accentuated by the solid brass buckle. Sizes range from 32 to 46 in stock. This belt is available with your choice of red, white or white webbing as a background to the signal flag ribbon. From Skipjack's collection of nautical and coastal belts for men and women.

Hortock's Compass Rose from the Kiel James Patrick Croffix Sailing Belt

Kiel James Patrick Croffix Sailing Belt

The Croffix Sailing belt by Kiel James Patrick is a sure way to make a nautical statement. This classic design is just begging to be combined with casual khakis and weather-beaten boat shoes. With over twenty different multi-colored designs, you are sure to find one that sets you apart. Each belt is handmade in New England, using nautical rope from T.W. Evan and Italian pebbled leather. With superior craftsmanship and classic New England style, these belts quite are perfect for your nautical lifestyle!

Fishbones Canvas Club Belt by Vineyard Vines

Vineyard Vines has certainly sailed ahead of the pack this spring with it's new coastal inspired designed belts. The new fishbones canvas club belt by Vineyard Vines will certainly quinch your appetite with this unique design and  is our top pick of the coastal creations and design belts for the spring. It is made with 100% cotton webbing with Italian saddle leather and brass buckle. The fishbone canvas club belt is available in the standard range of men's belt sizes from 30" to 44".

Braided D-ring nautical belts from Vineyard Vines.

Another great selection from for the spring is Vineyard Vines braided D-ring belts. Made with 100% cotton and silver D-rings, these nautical belts are available in three color combinations and range in sizes from small to double extra large.

The fishbone brass cut-out buckle with leather belt from Vineyard Vines.

Vineyard Vines has also created a fishbone cut-out solid brass buckle with leather belt fitting for just about any boating and landlubber activities.  A great coastal living belt that should bring years of enjoyment.

Look sharp while strolling in the surf with this casual fabric belt. Featuring the Tommy Bahama marlin logo engraved in an antique nickel-finished buckle, it's a style your weekends should never be without. One size fits most. Available in five coastal colors.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shopping Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA: Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery Nautical Store

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery storefront located on the riverfront in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia

This Upscale Retail Store features Everything Nautical for the Collector and Coastal Homeowner

Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA museums
 By Allen B. Graves
 If you're planning a visit to Norfolk, Virginia Beach or any other cities in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, make sure that you save time and set your course to the quaint historic seaport of Portsmouth, Virginia for a fun-filled day of shopping, dining and experiencing the historical Olde Towne-Downtown riverfront area. Olde Towne's High Street corridor ( a seven block corridor from Effingham Street to the riverfront) is the heart of the downtown shopping and dining district. This seven block area boasts over 30 restaurants, pubs and eateries to choose from and is one of Hampton Roads finest dining destinations. High Street is also Portsmouth's "arts and antiques" district with a diverse selection of fine antique shops, art galleries, unique boutiques and five museums including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, and the Lightship Portsmouth Museum,  The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Courthouse Galleries, and the newly expanded and doubled in size (reopening late April 2011) Children's Museum of Virginia . 

Seaboard building
One of the most unique and best known stores in Olde Towne is Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery. Skipjack is located at the rivers end of High Street and next to the High Street Landing or basin, where the paddle wheel ferry arrives throughout the day carrying passengers across the Elizabeth River from Downtown Norfolk to Olde Towne Portsmouth . One High Street is the address of the famous Seaboard Railroad building. The passenger rail terminal built in 1894 was a busy center for nearly sixty-years, during a time when the railroad dominated Portsmouth's economic activities, giving the city its motto, “where the rail meets the sea". 

Schooner Virginia
This up-scaled nautical retail store and gallery is situated in the first floor level of the building with it's front doors opening onto the High Street Park and seawall and just steps away from the encased Hog Island Lighthouse Fresnel lens.  Colorful vintage signal flags fly below trade signs painted in black with mounted  raised gold letters stating "MARITIME ANTIQUES, NAUTICAL DECOR, MARINE ART and SCHOONER VIRGINIA". The dark-green painted storefront wood work surrounds wall to wall tall windows offering a picturesque view from inside of  the bustling riverfront yacht and ship activities that travels the busy Intracoastal waterway. Once inside,  you will be greeted by the proprietors of Skipjack, Joe and Alison Elder. This large, mostly open front showroom houses Skipjack's collection of nautical accessories, decor and wares- a special blend of handcrafted nautical items made exclusively for Skipjack together with their own nautical apparel and jewelry. Skipjack is also the official "SCHOONER VIRGINIA"  ships store carrying SCHOONER VIRGINIA apparel and merchandise to help raise funding and awareness for the State of Virginia's ambassador vessel. Skipjacks broad and focused collection of nautical wares makes this the perfect Olde Towne shopping destination for the nautical enthusiast. 

A great shopping experience for the nautical enthusiast at Skipjack Nautical Wares.

Schooner Virginia and other nautical accessories at Skipjack Nautical Wares
Nautical instruments at Skipjack nautical Wares and Marine Gallery
A view of Skipjack Nautical Wares front showroom, Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA.

To the back left corner is the entry into the main gallery that is split into two separate areas. The first section features a fine collection of both new and antique Chelsea clocks and barometers, old and new marine instruments, and ship models including a vast collection of ship in a bottles by North Carolina master model builder Jim Goodwin. The main gallery also houses their collection of vintage and out of publication books on maritime subjects and a portion of the original marine art and prints. Through the fabric-paneled walls is Skipjack's design center that accommodates their picture framing department, prints  and a selection of antique and vintage ship grates set aside for custom nautical furniture such as coffee tables, side tables, and occasional tables

Chelsea clocks & barometers at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery

Ship in bottles by master model builder Jim Goodwin

The main gallery leads into the newest part of Skipjack, the foyer gallery that displays the majority of original marine art blended with nautical antiques, sea chests, and three dimensional marine-themed works of art. Skipjack Marine Galleries changing art shows are shown in this long foyer space. Skipjack also leases the foyer gallery for private parties, business gatherings, wedding receptions and other small events.

A section of Skipjack's  Foyer Gallery.

An original marine casting by Bill Osmundsen on display in Skipjack nautical Wares & Marine Galleries Foyer Gallery.

The upper deck level of Skipjack's Foyer Gallery.

Panoramic view of Skipjack, the Hog Island Lighthouse lens and the riverfront.

Preview 360 degree panoramic views of Skipjack's showroom by Virginia photographer Allen B. Graves.

Portsmouth Visitor Information Center
For more information about Portsmouth, Virginia and the historic Olde Towne district, you may also want to stop by the Portsmouth, Virginia Visitor Information Center located at 6 Crawford Parkway in Olde Towne offers visitors an abundance of informational brochures about area attractions and is open seven days a week. (757) 393-5111, (800) PORTS-VA
 Another information center is Starboards Coffee kiosk located at High Street Landing, at the corner of High and Water streets. Betsy Cartier is a great source for finding out what is currently happening in Virginia's quaint historic seaport. Also, David Cartier writes a column titled "A New Day in Olde Towne" that is by far the best source for Olde Towne news and events.

About the author: Allen B. Graves is a writer and photographer that resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. You can visit his website at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Coastal Creations & Design: What is "Seriously Seaworthy"

As a blogger writing about what I refer to as "seriously seaworthy" products, people, places and things, I am constantly reviewing pretty much everything that I can find in reference to our favored subject- nautical and coastal products, design and of course, lifestyle. And why do I do this you may ask? It's my business and we are experts in this field. As the President and CEO of Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery, I look at thousands of items each year as potential products for our store and we only choose the finest in products and artisans work created for the nautical enthusiast and the coastal homeowner. I do this seven days a week. We definitely live the life and walk the talk.

By Coastal Creations & Design standards, "seriously seaworthy" is defined as products and things of quality, whether authentic or replica, that will withstand the test of time. It also refers to people who really live the nautical/coastal lifestyle and places that are real coastal destinations.

Now into a new year, we've made a few course corrections and are "trimming our sails" to remove the fluff and improve our position.  We will tailor our articles to only write about "seriously seaworthy" products and avoid whenever possible, the cheap knockoffs and crafty lookalikes. We will also limit our articles to those people who truly live the nautical/coastal lifestyle and destinations that qualify to our subject. In other words, we are not interested in writing blogs about the "how to" make your own nautical crafts or products heavily produced and manufactured in places like India and China that have flooded our nation with cheap nautical junk. We do not plan to copy pictures and write about a decorating magazines take on nautical/coastal living as if it was our own...there's plenty of other bloggers to follow who are good at doing this and we are not selling advertising to pay to write this either.

Does this come across as being a bit cold or harsh? Well, OK. Look at us as the "piratical" source of the nautical/coastal blog writers. We dare to be different and we will tell it like it is.  I do not plan to write a blog a day or maybe not even a blog a week. We will post articles when we have something really worth writing about and not just to put something out there because it's expected and I have advertising to sell and advertisers to keep happy! We're not going to waste your time nor am I going to waste mine either. So, if you are looking for a more "serious" approach to the subject, then please follow this blog. If not, then there's plenty of the Coastal Living copy cats to follow. And, we cherish your real comments too, so share your views with us.

Joe Elder
Coastal Creations & Design
"Live the life you love, love the life you live"

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Tommy Bahama January Drink of the Month

Tommy Bahama drink of the month- the Meyer Lemon Drop
January 2011

2 1/2 parts Tommy Bahama White Sand® Rum
3/4 part triple sec
1 part sour mix
1/2 part Meyer lemon juice

Squeeze juice from a 1/4 slice of Meyer lemon into a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients. Shake 20 times and strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugar in the raw.

For best results, try visiting a Tommy Bahama Restaurant and have their bartender make it for you. 
Live the life you love, love the life you live!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Remembering Jonathan Livingston Seagull

A recent photo reminded me of this exceptional book. Photo by Joe Elder.

Remember the glorious little book titled Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach? We thought it fitting to revisit Jonathan and his words of inspiration and higher purpose in life, overcoming limitations and a renewed sense of freedom as we take off into the new year. Here are some of the most memorable quotes in the order of the progress of the story. Narration was added  where it is necessary to give background.
Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight – how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating.
Interesting dialogues between Jonathan and his parents:
“Why ,Jon ,why?” His mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don’t you eat? Jon, you are bone and feathers!”
“I don’t mind being bone and feathers, Mum. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know”
“See here, Jonathan,” said his father, not unkindly. “Winter isn’t far away. Boats will be few, and the surface fish will be swimming deep. If you must study, then study food, and how to get it. This flying business is all very well, but you can’t eat a glide, you know. Don’t you forget that the reason you fly is to eat”
After the failures Jonathan is disappointed :
As he sank low in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within him. There’s no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited by nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts for brains. If I were meant to fly at speed I’d have falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a poor limited seagull.
When he discovers the technique of flying :
How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!
The Elder of the Council bashing Jonathan :
“…one day, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, you shall learn that irresponsibility does not pay. Life is the unknown and the unknowable, except that we are put into this world to eat, to stay alive as long we possibly can.”
Jonathan raising voice against the Council :
“Who is more responsible than a gull who finds and follows meaning, a higher purpose for life? For a thousand years we have scrabbled after fish heads, but now we have a reason to live – to learn, to discover, to be free! “
What he had once hoped for the Flock, he now gained for himself alone; he learned to fly, and was not sorry for the price that he had paid.
Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that gull’s life is so short and with these gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.
The same rule holds for us now, of course: we choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing , and the next is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome”
When Jonathan asks, if heaven exists :
“No, Jonathan, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect.”
The Elder explains :
“You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”
“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is,” he said,”you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived…”
Each of us is in truth an idea of the Great Gull, an unlimited idea of freedom,”
“Well sure, O.K. they’re Outcast,” said some of the younger gulls, “but hey, man, where did they learn to fly like that?”
When a handicap gull asks if he can fly :
“Come along then.” said Jonathan. “Climb with me away from the ground, and we’ll begin.”
“You don’t understand My wing. I can’t move my wing.”
“Maynard Gull, you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.It is the Law of the Great Gull, the Law that Is.”
“Are you saying I can fly?”
“I say you are free.”
Jonathan addressing his Flock
He spoke of very simple things – that it is right for a gull to fly,that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.
“Set aside,” came a voice from the multitude, “even if it be the Law of the Flock?”
“The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said.
“There is no other.”
“How do you expect us to fly as you fly?” came another voice. “You are special and gifted and divine, above other birds.”
Jonathan sighs :
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you god.
“The trick Fletcher is that we are trying to overcome our limitations in order, patiently, We don’t tackle flying through rock until a little later in the program.”
“Also known as the Son of the Great Gull ” his instructor said dryly,
“What are you doing here? The cliff! Haven’t I didn’t I.., die?”
“Oh, Fletch, come on. Think. If you are talking to me now, then obviously you didn’t die, did you? What you did manage to do was to change your level of consciousness rather abruptly.
“Why is it,” Jonathan puzzled, “that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he’d just spend a little time practicing? Why should that be so hard?”
Farewell of Jonathan
A moment later Jonathan’s body wavered in the air, shimmering, and began to go transparent. “Don’t let them spread silly rumors about me, or make me a god. O.K., Fletch? I’m a seagull. I like to fly, maybe…”

Live the life you love, love the life you live!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Wish for You...

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.  
~Ellen Goodman