The bright red Cessna seaplane coughs towards the small floating wharf behind Moira. Lindsay, the pilot, waves at me from under the wing, his red hair flaming in the reflection of the sunlight from the bright red paint of the plane. I see two passengers in the back seat. I return Lindsay's wave as they taxi around Moira's stern and circle in to dock. The engine sputters and dies. The wind, blowing out of the west today at 20 knots, catches the plane the instant the engine quits. It swings around, and the wind puffs it towards the wood pilings surrounding a shark fence next door.
I jump into the Avon, start the engine, cast off and zoom over to the drifting airplane. Lindsay has climbed out onto one of the floats and paddles furiously upwind towards the wharf. I nose up to him and throw him the painter. He secures this to the cleat on the bow of the float and I put the engine in reverse. dinghy's will tow big loads very well as long as it's done in reverse. I pull them over to the dock with no difficulty.
Lindsay and I tie up the plane and he helps the two paying passengers off onto the Water Wings Airlines wharf. Water Wings is a small two-plane commercial airline operating along the east coast of New South Wales. They pick up passengers here in Quaker's Hat Bay and in Sydney Harbor. The residents who live in the luxurious homes lining Middle Harbor don't like the sea planes. They make too much noise during take-offs and some people fear one of the planes might collide with a small sailboat or windsurfer. But Freddy and I like the sea planes and have become unofficial water crew for David Hooker, the owner.
David has, at the request of Keven, granted us permission to use one of the sea plane moorings. He also gave us access to a two-story boathouse, "Le Bateau Chateau." It is the departure lounge for Water Wings and a workshop for the planes. The departure lounge has a kitchenette, bathroom and comfortable apartment with double french doors opening out onto the Bay. The Moira decorates the forefront of the view. Airplane parts fill most of the workshop, but there is enough room for me to make kaleidoscopes or work on Moira's innards.
Lindsay and I climb the stairs into the boathouse as David Hooker comes down the stairs from his large and beautiful home on the slope above the Bay. He is a tall, handsome man with an athletic build. His sharp facial features, black hair and trim beard with side burns gives him a faintly Arabic look. David has an easygoing, friendly personality. Freddy and I decided we liked him almost instantly. His wife, Ursrula, is a stunning blonde woman from Poland. She has a delightful accented English, is full of energy and overflowing with warm friendship. They have two children, Janusz - a miniature David, but shy and reserved, and a daughter, Natalia, a darling miniature of Ursrula.
"Ricky," David smiles as he comes through the door, "Thanks very much for helping with the airplane."
"My pleasure," I shake the offered hand, "Freddy and I consider ourselves unofficial ground crew and are glad to help out."
"Well, we should make you official ground crew, don't you think?" He rummages around in a large cardboard carton and pulls out a brilliant orange sweatshirt with the Water Wings logo on it. "I had these made up last year. Would you and Freddy like one?"
David's father, who died not long ago, began his career in Sydney as a taxi driver. He soon decided the way to wealth was land and began a small business called L. J. Hooker Real Estate. We saw an advertisement on TV last night. It showed the skyline of Sydney. The commentary said, "If you are interested in real estate in Sydney, come to see us - we own it. L.J. Hooker." L.J. Hooker Real Estate offices are now located in nearly every city and town in Australia. There is a huge building in the center of Sydney called Hooker House.
Everything is going our way. Celine loaned us her car and I drove back to Simply Living. It's just before Christmas so everyone was busy or on holiday. But I did talk to Tony again and they are going to use the Kaleidoscope photographs and an article about Kaleidoscopes. They will also put in a full page color add for Moirascopes and one of those circle-the-number postcards so their readers can order kaleidoscopes directly from Simply Living. They will also make a poster of the cover.
Keven is a major book publisher here in Sydney. He is interested in the dolphin book.
I am retyping and editing the book in "Le Bateau Chateau."
It is almost time for dinner. Time to quit for the day. I stop and think about the I Ching again. I have not consulted the Oracle for some time now. The book is on the desk in front of me. Why not?
"What do you think about the book about the dolphin now? Am I on the right road?"
I rattle the coins and concentrate on the question, addressing the Oracle as an ancient sage of great wisdom. I throw the six casts and find the 26th hexagram: Ch'ien, The taming power of the great. The image is the mountain above, the creative below. The analysis: "Keep Still, Hold Back. Care and nourishing are needed. Great creative power combine with firmness and truth. Everything depends on the power of the personality." Does this mean the book depends on me, not what it says? Or the personality of the dolphin needs work?
The I Ching elaborates, "The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past in order to strengthen his character thereby. Heaven within the mountain points to hidden treasures. In words and deeds of the past there lies hidden a treasure men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters. The way to study the past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history but, through application of this knowledge, to give actuality to the past."
OK. The sage says there is a hidden treasure in the words and deeds of the past. I consider this for a moment, looking out the window of the boat house. Ah HA! I've got it. The I Ching, itself, is a mixture of words and deeds from the past. My throwing of the coins will bring forth words of the past and so give actuality to the past. Therefore, the message is, I should rework the book and include in it some special message. The message will follow when I ask for it. There are no changing lines in the toss of the coins so there is only an analysis, no prediction. Interesting. Right, I shall comply.
I rattle the coins again and, with great curiosity, throw them six times. At the start I throw 2 tails, one head...7, a solid line at the bottom. Then I throw two heads, one tail...8, a broken line. I get this again and a third time yielding one solid line at the bottom and three broken lines above. I throw 3 heads... a 9, a solid line changing in the future to a broken line. 3 Heads again, another solid line at the top, changing to another broken line in the future. The hexagram is 42, changing to 24. Let's see, here....
42."I/Increase." "The gentle wind above, the arousing thunder below. This conception also expresses the fundamental idea on which the Book of Changes is based. To rule truly is to serve.
"A sacrifice of the higher element that produces an increase of the lower is called an out-and-out increase: it indicates the spirit that alone has power to help the world." "Sacrifice on the part of those above for the increase of those below fills the people with a sense of joy and gratitude that is extremely valuable for the flowering of the commonwealth." and "This time resembles that of the marriage of heaven and earth, when the earth partakes of the creative power of heaven, forming and bringing forth living beings."
"To rule truly is to serve"......I can't really see how this fits into the dolphin book - its more of a political statement. But I am impressed the Oracle promised to tell me a great secret, a hidden treasure, and then up comes the hexagram "I," "The fundamental idea on which the Book of Changes is based." It did lead me to a very important treasure but the treasure is so well hidden I can't figure it out. Not in relationship to the Dolphin's quest to uncover the meaning of its relationship to the living planet. I consider the puzzle for several minutes and shrug. Sorry, Ancient Sage, I don't get it. (Note from the future - I missed the point here entirely. The key phrase was "Sacrifice on the part of those above for the increase of those below fills the people with a sense of joy and gratitude." Only I had no idea I was going to sacrifice anything on behalf of "those below.").
I go on to 9 at the top and crumple. "Nine at the top means: He brings increase to no one. Indeed, someone even strikes him. He does not keep his heart constantly steady. Misfortune." Even I can figure out this is not good. According to this, the book will fail. "An attitude not permanently in harmony with the demands of the time will necessarily bring misfortune with it." Thus, the Oracle comes back to it's very first commentary about the book. The ideas, perhaps also the style, is not in harmony with the powers of social control systems. Misfortune. And the problem comes from me. "He does not keep his heart constantly steady."
"Confucius says about this line: If a man is brusque in his movements, others will not cooperate. If he is agitated in his words, they awaken no echo in others. If he asks for something without having first established relations, it will not be given to him."
If I understand this right, The Oracle says I should hold back, keep still, everything depends on the personality - my personality. I will screw up, in the end, because I am brusque, agitated in my words, and don't establish relations before I ask for something. (Christ, how brutally true this would be, I did not for a moment imagine).
The Oracle follows this dour analysis with the prediction (Hexagram 24: The Turning Point), after the darkness is past the light will return..... I suppose this means I'd better revise the manuscript again.
I put down the I Ching and move around, circulating the blood and trying to settle down, emotionally, from the I Ching's bad news. Aww, what am I hyped up about. It's all just gibberish. But I get the strangest feeling it is not gibberish. Not when I keep getting the same basic advice each time I ask the same question. I just don't understand it.
I stare out of the double doors of the Water Wings boathouse at Moira. Freddy is out there fixing dinner while I finish the writing. I pace around for a few minutes more and then sit down at the typewriter again.
There is a clean piece of paper on the desk. Without thinking about it, I pick up a black, felt tipped pen and write ME on the paper in big capital letters. I sit back and look at this and then get up and go into the bathroom. I hold the message up and read it. ME. I let it turn over and read the message in the mirror and the reflection of the reality of ME is WE. I look into the eyes of the face in the mirror. Those "I's" believe they are ME yet those eyes are reflections.
The real "human" is holding the paper with the true label, WE. Within the brain cells of the being looking in the mirror, a collective harmony of nerve cells builds a reflection of "outside" reality. This is the inner reflection We call Me.
"Reflection is the mirror of mind." The human holding WE says to ME in the mirror. "The present is mind made up in the past. The future is mind made up in the now."
Looking into the I's in the mirror I see the left eye looking out trying to say something to the right eye. I, the persona of language, peering out of the right eye, feel the larger mind in there knows exactly what the I Ching's secret hidden treasure is. WE reflecting ME. To rule truly is to serve. To rule, truly is to serve. To rule truly, is to serve.
I don't get it. Slowly, I lower the written ME causing WE to vanish from the image in the mirror and from the image in my mind. I turn off the lights, lock the door to the boathouse and return to Moira for dinner.