I'm writing this book in the Boaters Cafe. The light's turning golden,
the sun has just set but the night won't arrive for a while yet I know.
It happens that way in the Boaters Cafe. The inbetween moments stretch and
expand and there's always an opportunity to do what you want for as long
as you choose. Time works differently here. There's a spaciousness and a
sense of place, time has a larger, fuller shape that barely brushes the
everyday world and leaves just a trace of its gracious form. The words on
this page work in much the same way. Your eyes and your mind tend to move
along, word by word, moment by moment, one by one till they come to the
end. But these words are merely the surface marks of some larger thing.
Look through the words and seek the space that lies underneath the time
and place where you sit right now. If you do you can see me sitting here
in the Boaters Cafe looking back at you. Perhaps a bit of the golden light
of the afterglow will slip through as well.
The fact that I'm here in this infinite moment between day and night
is a comfortable thing. Gives a guy pause and a tale or two. Helps me remember
a few of the things I've been meaning to do. Like this book for instance.
I've worked out parts of it times before, but I have this urging for some
reason now to put it together in one single place. One thing though, I might
as well tell you right at the start so you don't get misled. I'm not a writer,
I'm more of a talker. With a name like mine what else can you do? So I'll
talk it through in my usual way and if you want to close the book at any
time, just go right ahead. I'll still be here in the Boaters Cafe and you
can return any time that you like.
I have a few unusual things I'd like to say, but first things first.
Boats. They're essential. If you want to go out in the Territory you've
got to know all about boats. Gotta have one. Gotta know how to use it. Gotta
know just what a boat can do and how it helps to get you through the difficult
places you can't navigate in the usual ways. Where you go is up to you.
But wherever you travel, whatever you do, no matter which where in the Territory
you finally end up in, you're going to be needing a boat to get there and
a boat to get back again.
It's not really hard to see why. It's because of the water, it's everywhere though people who don't know the Territory don't see it at all. Everyone here in the Boaters Cafe knows more or less all about water and boats. But I'm writing this book for people like you who probably don't have a boat yet at all. Maybe you don't really know that much about the Territory either. Guess I better go all the way back and start at the beginning. Not going to be all that easy though. The Territory actually has no beginning. It's simply just there, always has been. All you can do is to jump in the middle and muddle around until it sounds right...