Monday, January 4, 2010

I can relate

One of my favorite sea faring stories is about the great French solo sailor Bernard Moitessier. He perhaps is best known for his participation in the Golden Globe Race to circumnavigate the earth alone and non-stop. As he was on the last leg of the journey, having come around Cape Horn and its fearsome winds and waves, he decided to continue sailing rather than return to England where the race would end.

His decision to quit the race was largely due to his becoming comfortable with his solitude. Although driven and competitive, he did not want to return to the crowds, cameras, fame and a sailing trophy. Instead, he sailed on for three more months. Although he abandoned the race, Moitessier still circumnavigated the world, crossing his path off South Africa, and then sailing almost two-thirds of the way round a second time, all non-stop and mostly in the Roaring Forties.

I can relate to Bernard as today I feel like withdrawing. It is my first day back at work after a lovely few days of holiday. I actually don't want to deal with the onslaught of emails and meetings that are already being scheduled to fill up the week. But mostly, I received a sad shock that a colleague of mine died in an accident at his home on Dec. 31. He was an avid dog lover, a good sailor, and an exacting scientist.

So I can relate to sailing on and not getting back to the madding crowd. Thankfully, tonight I have my home group meeting. And thankfully, I can appreciate with full gratitude all that I do have in my life. No matter what may be happening around me, I can stop, say a prayer, regroup, and keep moving. I like the idea on the Just for Today prayer that "I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime." Amen to that.

You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that's all. Bernard Moitessier


  1. I felt I "wasted" three days being sick. After spending so much time in bed, I was ready for the world today. I know what you mean about all those emails though. The number of emails sent could easily be cut in half!

  2. Living JUST FOR TODAY - what a wonderful way to live. When I can stay focused and actually stay in the now, I am so much happier.

    So sorry to hear about your colleague. It is sad to lose someone we admire and love. Yet, for me it is also a reminder to get on the ball and enjoy life. It is fleeting and we never know when it may end.

    God bless,

  3. I'm sorry for your loss.

    Wherever you sail, I wish you kind seas.

    Blessings and aloha...

  4. I like my own company these days. I used to do anything in order to not have to be alone and face myself. Your post today reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Appropriate book for many reasons. I need to re-read it. Thanks for all your kind comments..they make a difference.


  5. Just wanna pass on a big hug towards you.

  6. It was hard to drag myself back into work today and see that the world was back to full speed after a rather relaxing week between the holidays.

    Sorry for your loss.

  7. It is such a great thing to finally enjoy your own company enough to not feel the need for the constant "noise" of others.I believe it is about being spiritually fit
    when you're content in your skin.I don't mean isolation either. That feels more like loneliness which is very different.jeNN

  8. I am so sorry. I understand. A friend and I talked about that just last night. Our need to just disappear, go on the lam, hide. For a while. It's not personal, even though people take it that way often. It's just a need.

  9. what a beautful story. thank you syd- i couldn't agree more

  10. I really like what Prayer Girl had to say. I also am sorry for your loss and happy that you still seek out your gratitude. Sail on Syd.

  11. Don't you think we all feel like sailing on or sailing away from time to time? I do.

  12. just for today... it's all we have after all :-) welcome back to the silly world!

  13. i was so glad when yesterday was over, the ice-breaker... to force me from seclusion...

  14. I'm sorry, another colleague. I don't know why I feel it's more tragic around the holidays, I do though.

    God be with his family and all of his colleagues and friends as you all come to understanding of the loss and the life to live into from here.

  15. Thank you, I needed to read that.

    I had the worst emotional relapse over the holidays and was in such a low low bottom that I wanted to just die. Now I am back in the hustle and bustle of life and I just want to run. Run to what who knows. I am new to Al-Anon but not new to the rooms. I am a recovering alcoholic of several years. HOWEVER, I am now faced with working on "me" issues that I have not had to look CLOSELY at before. Divorce has slapped me in the face with so much I can't breathe. BUT - I know there is hope out there. I know there is a solution. Makes me want to puke thinking about the work ahead of me, but I WILL do it. I now know that Al-Anon is here to save my butt.
    Your post today reconfirms to me that no matter where I go or where I run to, there "I" am. So, here I sit in my world of work, BREATHING, praying and powering through.

    Thank you.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.