When I lived in Oregon and wasn’t attending sixth grade, somewhere between my acting life and my speech and debate life, I opened a play directed by a friend of my parents with a recitation of “Sea-Fever” by John Masefield.
The poem is brief (briefer than I remember), but conveys powerful imagery of the pull of the ocean and its eternal hold on those who sail upon it. I was adorned in a cap not unlike what I’d worn as Oliver Twist (but newer and nicer) and some sort of scarf that the director had determined sufficiently aquatic. Despite these elements of costuming and the placement of a stage beneath my feet, I think this may have been the birth of my understanding of the power of spoken words. Not the magic of theater, in full regalia, which I’d long known and loved, but the actual power and presence of mere strings of syntax, dramatically spoken.
Of course, there was my third grade talent show rendition of the Gettysburg Address, which I remembered made a couple teachers cry. But I’d been disappointed with my performance there, forgetting some words and feeling immense pressure. I had not felt the command over that performance that I did in the practiced rhythms of Masefield’s cadence.
It is somehow fitting to remember that preface on a night back from introducing members of the Rutgers class of 2013 to the basic tenets of parliamentary debate. Just as every word written makes for better writing next time, so every word spoken has led me to this point in my life. And perhaps I can forgive myself for sacrificing tonight’s writing efforts (unless I can start after completing this post) to the twin duties of education and navigation.
This last is the true inspiration for tonight’s title, for a navigation bar has been introduced to The Blue Pyramid for the first time ever. Over the course of the next few weeks, the navigation system will filter out through the rest of the website. The focal points of this bar also come with an acknowledgment that several projects have been archived, most permanently lost at sea.
I would like to say that this move will usher in a new era of updated content at the site, with quizzes and new projects abounding as long planned. I have learned enough over my millions of spoken words, of course, to know that such promises are of no worth. Either I shall make good, which will speak for itself, or I shan’t, which will undermine the promises’ purpose.
So I present what is done and will call it a night. Perhaps to write briefly before sailing for sunrise.
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
and quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.