Sailing a Sea Less Traveled
"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides."
~ Jules Verne - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
On Mystique in Marigot Bay, Sint Maarten, 2008
Do social butterflies ever envy those that don't like to party? No, of course not, they can't see the shallow gadflies or the facade of artificiality. If they did, their whole worldview might crumple. The reality is that more unhappy people together doesn't translate to more fun or greater social pleasure. Greater consciousness and caring are what really connect people. I often wonder how long a party would last if only comfortable, secure and genuinely content humans gathered together. Misery does love company!
“All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community.
Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when we ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.”
When people ask me why I blog, I tell them my writing is a form of sailing. It always feels liberating and adventurous. Sometimes when I write, I'm transformed like a day sailor navigating a sea of ideas and feelings. Maybe I even become part character / part storyteller... maybe a dash of Joshua Slocum's daring, a sprinkle of Walter Mitty's daydreaming, a splash of Odysseus' swashbuckling or maybe a Robinson Crusoe's resourcefulness. I write because I like to. Like the wind and waves, my thoughts and feelings move me; they are compelling and creative forces behind my efforts.
Even though I don't write my blog to garner responses, build up readership, sell a product or promote a cause, I do appreciate reader comments, feedback and sharing other perspectives. But I don't write my blog for anyone else's approval and certainly not to be part of a group or a community. If people enjoy it great, but I don't want them to follow or like me for any other reason that they do.
While I always attempt to convey my unique experiences and perspectives in a unique manner, my goal is always to please me. My intent isn't to entertain, educate and open minds, but if that happens great. My main motivation is not fame, fortune or future notoriety; its purely creative fun. Like sailing on the open seas!
Contemplating the day after a snorkel and a swim in Leinart Bay north of St. John, AVI.
Each time I write a blog article, I share. I share ideas, thoughts, events and a little bit of myself. And each time I attempt to express who I am in my writing, I want to tell my version in my voice as honestly and openly as possible.
As my tiller, my intent turns my rudder. It steers my course. As I steer towards the shores and harbors of humanity, I collect and display my words and images, like seashells, along the way. Whatever distant shore my message lands on, my only hope is it relevance while revealing a part of who I am. So I guess I could say I am sharing my view of the world and myself at the same time.
People frequently find themselves when they sail. They aren't necessarily lost as they raise or lower their sail. And most of them know where their body is located. They may be aware enough to know their head is sitting atop their shoulders. They may actually know where they are headed.
I mean what state of mind they are in, not just their last dead reckoning. And they aren't lost even if they don't know where they are or where they are going.
Every phase of sailing helps them discover challenges a soul's being and becoming. Sailing gives and takes much more than showing up. It takes It doesn't matter if the wind blows hard or soft, whether the waves run high or flat, whether the sails stay trimmed or luff, whether the course is oat responds it reveals your strengths and weaknesses. It always and all ways reveals character, personality, behaviour, health, easeailing the sea stirs our sides. To the extent we find ourselves as we lose ourselves on it.
We are all alone, but that does not mean we are disconnected or lonely. Actually, it may suggest we are more in touch with ourselves than those who are dependent on others.
I love my alone time, especially on an island, on a boat or at home. I enjoy the solitude and the tranquility of my surroundings, especially when I am present in nature...much more so than being inside some protective shelter. And while I love delving into my inner world of thoughts, I love to experience the outer natural world even more. While I never listen to music while hiking, kayaking or exploring outside, I listen and observe what I heard recently as vacation-vision. The
While I have often lived by myself, I have never been alone. While at times during my 65 years, I have lived with and without people around me. But when I have been by myself, I have never felt alone. In fact, I have rarely felt lonely.
I enjoy the company of some people, but I haven't needed people around me to feel good about myself. Yes, I have felt loneliness at times in my life, but I have been comfortable with being with or without people around me. I wasn't always that way as I was growing up. And I have discovered that some people who wanted me to be in their life wanted me to be someone other than who I am. Some wanted to change me without changing themselves. I have known some people who can't be by themselves; they need the context and the interaction of others. I have known some people who couldn't be with me because they were too needy. The few times I have actually felt loneliness was when I was in cities or in congested people-places.
Reading sips and pages on the trampoline.
Writing thoughts aboard a cat near St. Barts - 2011
Posing astern near the south shore St. John, AVI - 2007
Hands on the throttle, revving Mystique.
Chartering a cat near Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast - 2009
Chartering Dan Brown while on a catamaran charter off the coast of Belize - 2008
Withstanding the calm as Pequot Yacht Club's Race Committee, Southport, CT - 2001
"To me, the sea is like a person--like a child that I've known a long time.
It sounds crazy, I know, but when I swim in the sea I talk to it.
I never feel alone when I'm out there."
Immersed in St Maarten's waters as I hold onto my dinghy.
Headed for a paddle near Bar Harbor, Maine
On Mystique for the first time - 2008 - Sint Maarten
Writing on a Rock
Pausing thoughts on seaside rocks in Mt. Desert, Maine in summer of 2006,
8/25/06 - 2:50 pm Acadia National Park
Otters' Cove / Otters' Point
Mt. Desert, Maine
A walk and a reflection: (with my friend Karen)
After a 2.5 mile stroll along the cliff paths, Karen and I have picked a position to rest and write. Facing SSW, I watch as the tidal sway creates sensations and sights that remind me of syrup pouring over hot, blueberry pancakes..ah, I must be anticipating tomorrow morning's breakfast. The angle of the sun's rays has cast a light on the blue ripples causing a constellation of star-twinkles that expand to the far horizon. The syrup, I mean, the sea's foam flows over the gathering of rocks in front of me, 10 feet below my perch. A swatch of white clouds stretches from east to west in the distance while a lobsterman's boat pirouettes powerfully around his pot buoys. In the distance an 80'-90' motor yacht tows a smaller craft churning up a wake on its way south. Two sloops slide and glide within sight of us on their way to Southwest Harbor. As the tidal swells awaken the nearby kelp, the water emerges like some drenched shaggy canine or like the unkempt mane of some sleepy sea nymphs. The ebbing tide has now revealed more rock contour and definition while marooning some water pools during its recession. The heart of this spot pulses like it's alive, but not alone.
Writing shore boulders Acadia National Park, Maine, 2006
It should be obvious, I was not alone when these photos were taken.