Friday, June 4, 2010


"Why didn't I do this a long time ago?"

That's something I've said often about cruising, but, really, how would that have turned out?

My much younger self would have had some clear advantages, say stamina and grace moving about a boat, running up and down the companionway steps without groaning about it the next day. I would have been braver, more adventurous and less cautious.

On the other hand, I would have zoomed headlong, head strong and mouth first into the world, befriending and offending everyone I met. Opinion, especially my own, was synonymous with "truth." Neither did I know the difference between religion and spirituality. Subtlety was a subtlety that was lost on me.

I could not differentiate between happy people and clowns, or between being articulate and being intelligent. My place in the universe was unclear to me, I just knew it was somewhere else.

At 50, I still travel with the same demons, but I've civilized a few of them. The meaning of opinion is now clear to me, as is the realization that it rarely shares the same space with truth. And my opinion? That isn't really needed anywhere. I have grown deeply spiritual and anti-religious.

My place in the universe is more clear, and it is not on the horizon but here and now and in this cockpit. The years have shown me that if I give, it comes back, and the less I have, the richer I am, lessons too trite to put on a t-shirt.

At 50, I clearly lack the same physical grace for moving about the boat, but age has blessed me with a certain grace for moving about the planet.

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