On my fourth and last day before arriving in Miami, I sailed Mystique across the Florida Straits and the Gulf Stream when I noticed a another cat overhead. As my catamaran re-turned to Florida waters, an un-reality teased and challenged my senses.
If you have ever sailed a small dinghy in light air, you may have been tempted to let go of the tiller. Yes, release your hold on the steering mechanism in your hand. If you happened to let go so, you probably discovered some delightful things not only about your steering your boat but also yourself.
The day after crossing 74 miles the Florida Straits and the Gulf Stream between North Bimini and West Palm Beach, visiting US Customs and Immigration and then depositing two Toronto crew members at the Palm Beach airport, I was all alone. And until I reached a destination northward upcoast and east of Orlando, I would be sailing solo.
During a northwest squall in the Bahamas in the first quarter of 2018 an exhausted, soaked warbler suddenly appeared upon Mystique's starboard stern quarter - a mere few feet behind where I sat at the wheel. At first this frightened and chilly bird barely flapped a wing, barely moved a feather. Whether it was too exhausted, too soaked, too cold, too disoriented, too numb or just simply grateful to locate a dry and safe rest stop, I knew not. Yet all seemed likely. However, her timely arrival and subsequent aboard behavior attracted our attention and joy.
As Pat explained how I should drive her, she said “Here’s tighten up” and “Here’s “hit it”. When I asked her for more info, she simply responded with “I’m about show, not tell....it’s about feel.
As I sat quietly in Friends Meeting during silent meditation a few Sundays ago, I heard a powerful engine-like sound approaching from far away. As the noise grew louder, the opposite open windows of the 1684 meeting house attracted my attention.
As I returned to the Florida a few days ago after four months away, I felt both my connections and disconnections. So when I returned to my blog, I re-read a blog on the subject I wrote about 4 years ago. I needed to read these quotes to remind me. And I came across the Pathwork lecture entitled The Human Predicament of Desire for, and Fear of, Closeness which I found profound and insightful. What you find below is an revision and hopefully an upgrade to these timeless quotes.
A lighthouse is a beacon that beckons. It's a beam of shining light in the darkness. It is a signal and a guide. When lit and visible it acts as reassurance and comfort. It persuades sailor's ways away from the sway and waves of shallow depths and dangers. A lighthouse is also a heighten shore symbol, a metaphor for helping people at sea see where they are. Darkness in the sea of humanity is just as foreboding and uncertain as a ship sailing upon a windy ocean near a shallow shoal. But one person can light a community with energy and enthusiasm.
Anyone familiar with Rumi's wisdom knows his connection to water. His poems often include sea, stream, river and ocean references, personifications and metaphors that express simple, yet profound truths. Like the sea, his fluid, playful words move readers by their simplicity and depth. This Turkish mystic's 800-year-old poetry is so popular today, he has become America's' best-selling poet in 2017.
Tugboats tie on to the schooner Adventuress after it ran aground at Orcas Island. No injuries were reported when the 95-year-old schooner ran aground in Wasp Passage in the San Juan Islands while sailing on a school trip.
A Homeric legend about Odysseus voyage home, a movie about three escaped convicts and how their story parallels, a Jesuit priest’s journey into northern Canada and a tale about my parents’ perception of me and my brothers as well as an en experience with my adult son about telling the truth all demonstrate a commonality with the various facets of temptation.
Many people are overwhelmed with the vast number of choices available to them. The variety can be overwhelming, but when one knows what one wants, the choices often are few. Trouble is people often get tempted, swamped, or swayed away from what we really want and need. The problem with the human mind is not the volume of options, but deciding what is best for you in a given situation. Living on a boat helps one make these decisions.
In a remote Maryland farming community in the 1950's I grew up as the oldest of four sons. As I reached my teens, my omnipresent curiosity finally rebuffed, stymied and stifled my "family" and me. Whenever questions like "what happened?" or "what's wrong?" then "why do you not answer my questions?" my father somehow always seemed offended. An unanswered third math grade question seemed pivotal. I was 8 years old when my father couldn't show me how to solve a problem. I rarely asked him for anything ever again.
We all know change stultifies and stymies some of us into a kind of paralysis pudding while, for others, change simplifies and eases their existence, making them feel freer and more energized. Changing even a simple word can prove difficult for some while freeing for others. So it is no surprise with the introduction of a new idea, concept or technology struggles with acceptance often ensue. For those of us who have grown accustomed to life being one way, then suddenly having to accept and accommodate to something different, it often presents numerous side effects.
Sailing once rescued me from my eye injury. A decade later another “accident” became an even more life-altering experience. But then again sailing came to my rescue.
Today is July 4th. A day to celebrate freedom..an Independence Day celebration in America. Yet freedoms, as they always seem to be, are under attack in the US in 2018. Are we only a democratic society which espouses freedoms, then at the same time also denies’ them? Are we content living in a land full of no’s, can't, and don'ts. There are plenty of do’s and dues and don’t’s. against. How can societies rid themselves of no’s, not’s and nevers? What if the world only posted signs with Yeses? What if all human signs disappeared?
As I sail, I am reminded about space. That place above and beyond comprehension. That place where imagination is limitless. A place of possibility. An abyss and endless hole of both nothingness and everything. The sky and sea has all our greatest reminders for being. Then the Universe, mind and heart show us otherwise.