Sailing, waiting, watching
As humans we live in the constant presumption of dominion. We believe that we own the world, that it belongs to us, that we have it under our firm control. But the sailor knows all too well the fallacy of this view. The sailor sits by his tiller waiting and watching. He knows he isn't sovereign of earth and sky any more than the fish in the sea or birds in the air. He responds to the subtle shiftings of the wind, the imperceptible ebbings of the tide. He changes course. He trims his sheets.
Richard Bode, from First You Have to Row a Little Boat.
I cancelled a long booked ocean crossing (my first) to wander Ireland with my brother - a week or 10 or 12 days from the Azores to Faro. Maybe the Spanish have gotten to me; a week with a brother I seldom see, about to launch his own far-flung adventure halfway around the world from me, tempted me more than the act of marking "ocean passage" off my to-do list. And then there was the timing - the residency papeleo , the costs and the time away from my fledgling new projects. The tides had turned, it seemed...
Some days it doesn't feel easy, this living as a landlocked sailor. I miss the physicality of sailing, the full speed ahead quiet, the places I go when I'm on the water. As a writer I miss the illimitable metaphor of sailing, the adventure of every sail, the little something I inevitably bring home, learned.
So I was delighted to run across this favorite bit of Bode today, tucked in a old notebook...
Labels: wise words