Or is it just ships passing without any consequence, mutual curiosity, or communication? Passing by day or night really doesn’t matter, calm or storm doesn’t matter.

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On land as on water, what matters is what happens and doesn’t. As is true with vessels, so is true with humans. There may be just visual contact that never triggers much thought or memory, never makes it into journal or log. All that’s felt is some rocking in the wake or a ride–spray or not–over a huge uplifting wave.

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Maybe the wake or wave is so inconsequential or the convergence so distant that there’s no hint. Every day we might have these diverging agendas and no contact except maybe crackle on the radio or a silhouette seen through glass. But then again …

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. . . there could be full frontal contact, the physical sort. It might be intentional, or not; mutually beneficial or not, destructive or mutually enhancing. Gowanus Bay and Chancellor (scroll through here for “bios” alphabetically) froth up the water as the noses grind into one another, conjuring up memories of another age, the age captured by Marsh, memories of youth long ago.  Washington, below, was a new ship in 1932.

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