Sailing Right Side Up
My imagination raises my anchor...hoists my halyards...trims my sails...tightens my sheets...steers my course...turns my rudder...points my compass...as it floats my thoughts and feelings. My writing moves me as it sails my passion. And as my writings emerge, my thoughts soar near and far. While creativity tosses and turns my wheel, they write me...and right me. Keeping me buoyant, balanced and beaming, sometimes they make me feel fluid. They flow invisibly through my mind as a sea surges and surfs a shore. Feeling one and two with Nature...akin and simpatico with sea life, I often surrender to marine soundings and surroundings.
While my boat floats, owning it is a misnomer. When I sail her, my vessel actually owns me. While he draws me to her wheel, she also lives her name right side up. My catamaran takes me places, though it is my thoughts that sail me. They move me. Not only floating my consciousness, they also become my vessel. And as an added feature, my Mystique can not capsize or sink. Can not sink me. My boat is more than physical hulls or matter. While it is named, its name is without bottom, topside or downside. When I board Mystique, I become part of my boat's name - "a fascinating aura of mystery, awe, and power surrounding me. There is no up or down, just in and on. As I inhale even imbibe its air of secrecy, the salted sea air and seasoned aqua welcome my return. I need no nautical knowledge to appreciate her charms and my character change on her decks and berth. Neith does she. I board her to experience her essence; what surrounds and instills her into me. Like no other, I experience my uncommon sense.
I actually believed I my helm, I once would steer my own craft. But that was an my delusion. It actually steered me. Before yesterday, I was so audacious to believe I chose my boat's destination. There was even a time when I saw myself as captain of my own destiny. I even thought my compass course pointed my boat's bow as well as me towards some predestined fate. Ah, again, I deluded myself. I was all wet...soaked...What a dreamer!
Last summer in the Exumas when I allowed Nature to assist me, I began to understand where sealife can lead a skipper. Much of this epiphany surfaced when I surrendered, embraced and loved the aquatic mysteries and uncertainties. The unknowing became a knowing and a kind of comfort. And now in retrospect, it doesn't seem that long ago I mapped out and charted my own course, then let that false dream dissolve. It was then that I accepted and embraced Nature's scheme. Somehow I imagined I was at my helm steering towards who knows where. However foolish I once was, I now knew my worldview had not gone so far to imagine our globe as flat. I was no longer apprehensive because I knew seas and ships would not fall off an edge. While appearances are rarely what they seem, I knew my imagination would forever float even if life turned upside down.
Assuming you haven't already, what if each of us and woke up tomorrow with the realization we had been living life upside down? I know the upside down part might sound farfetched, yet one might ask: Could it be any different than living right side up? Living in a world and nation that constantly proclaims anything as fake or false! What would we do if we started to view life with different lens? Could we truly stop and find ourselves? Could we turn ourselves inside out? turn ourselves around? right ourselves? Look at life with a different worldview?
Without any recognition, we would undoubtedly continue to rely on our limited common sense. Yet would we keep on moving forward or what we think is forward?....even if we knew we were headed in the opposite direction from where we thought we wanted to go? Or would it be too difficult and shameful to admit we had made a blunder by reading the world upside down? What happens when common sense is upside down and back assbackwards?
Sailing presents many unwrapped life lessons. Yet, one can not learn then until one is wrapt into sailing. Many take me out of my comfort zone. Many of them appear as opposite to how many, (dare I say most?) people perspectives.. And this is one reason why sailing is so powerful. As a sport, sailing possesses an intuitive impulse to play. And sailing reveals many opposites. And that sailing opposites often deeply teaches. Here are a few of sailings opposite rules and life lessons:
In sailing, the fastest is not a straight line course.
The slowest sailing is sailing dead down wind.
To avoid danger, push tiller towards it.
To avoid an obstacle, approach closely before turning away.
To turn into the wind, backwind sails
To slow down, steer into the wind.
The boom is so named so crew will duck their heads.
To gybe, push the tiller away from the sail.
Flaking any sale is actually folding it.
But now I am awake to my mistakes. Just lessons in disguise lost in the skies! I had seen life all backwards, all inside out, all topsy turvy. It had been all a illusion. What I wanted was the opposite of what I needed. Now I appreciated opposites.
The opposite color of my vision was really true blue. Maybe you'll relate or haven't lived long enough to see the sea, to feel the motion ocean, to know wind and rewind or to know differences between tack and tacky, between port and wine or even whine and wine, between right and write. For some, maybe a lifetime is not enough. I'm grateful some and sum finally came to me. The secret is coming about.
When I found my boat steering and pointing me on a proper course, I gradually discovered my chart read me - not the other way around. My biggest revelation arrived when Nature spoke to me. When I discovered Nature actually steered and pointing me, I learned her language. She hadn't become my second mate; she had become second nature to me. When I realized she was my mate, she wasn't my master or mistress. I was her mate and she was my mission. I was neither her mercy nor her As she sent her messages, I learned to read her messages.
Where did I discover the audacity to believe I was more powerful than she. To even conceive myself as equal to the force of Nature. Was I up to the task of living within my nature or like many thinking nothing and taking her for granted. Ah that only leads to
What I discovered was my destination, ah, my destiny, determines me. And Nature is there to read and balance my act.
My writing allows me to sail myself. Writing sails me. It hoists my sails. It trims my sheets. It steers my thoughts, my compass course. I sail my being when I write. My writing becomes my sailboat. It writes and rights me.
Yes, it is true Mystique takes me to beautiful earthly places, but writing also takes me there and to places I can't reach with only boat. Writing marks a moment and place like modern photos that have coded location and time markers imbedded within them. These places move like light clouds, across the sea of my consciousness. These mere drops and spots of thought become like gusts or zephyrs upon my sights. I don't just set my sights on some site; I unfurl, unwrap my wind and have it fill my sail of thought to move from my where my ideas float and flow. Places where there is both depth and breadth.
My boat rights me. It keeps me balanced. It keeps my ballast centered and my keels cleaner. I know those practical types can't or won't appreciate the comparison because it isn't a tool or something one can put a hand on. That's because it comes from a world of feeling. The longer I live live, the more I witness how good judgment, logic, intelligence and common sense are disappearing.