Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Cat's Feet

We had another nice day on the water.  The fog was thick this morning when we left the boat landing.  The world was grey, soft and had an ancient feeling.  It's not hard to imagine what it must have been like to look at a coast line and not see any homes.  The fog does that--it has a way of hiding a lot of things. Later in the morning, the sun began to burn off the fog and the shoreline was, once again, obvious.

We caught a few fish, enjoyed being on the water, and headed back to the landing just as an evening fog bank was rolling in from the ocean.  After cleaning up the boat,  we both were tired.  I feel as if I have been steam rolled from the sun, the wind, the fishing.

I did head to a friend's house to help him with some calculations that he was having difficulty with on the Captain's exam.  He is a non-linear thinker with ADD.  Even the most simple math problems throw him into a panic.  I helped him to work through the problems, although I don't think that he understands much of what we did.  He has a dream to get a 200 ton license, yet I don't think that he will be able to pass the test on navigation problems.

What do you do when the thing that you want to achieve is beyond your grasp?  I think that he knows this, but says that he wants his life to account for something.  Most of the early years were spent being drunk.  And now, he has a dream to be a success at something.

My mother used to say that it was important "to cut the garment according to the cloth".  When I was a kid, I didn't know what this meant.  But as I grew older and wiser, I knew that it was a metaphor for having realistic resources before undertaking a task.  I hate to see someone try so hard but not succeed because they lack the educational background to pass the exam.

Dreams are important and keep us moving forward.  Perhaps we don't always succeed in making our dreams become reality.  I have had to settle in this life for something less than what I set out to attain.  It is a disappointment but something that I got over.  I hope that my friend will realize that he is still worth a lot regardless of whether he passes to get the license he wants or has to settle for a lesser license.  There comes a point that it is time to fold the tents and move on.

Here is what Rumi has to say:
Outside, the freezing desert night.
This other night inside grows warm, kindling.
Let the landscape be covered with thorny crust.
We have a soft garden in here.
The continents blasted,
cities and little towns, everything
become a scorched, blackened ball.

The news we hear is full of grief for that future, 
 but the real news inside here
is there's no news at all.

I believe that in the chaotic world that often makes no sense, the real news is inside here, and there is no news. It reminds me of what I heard recently that the soul does not wish to move; the soul wishes to be at rest. The soul doesn't need to accomplish anything.  But the ego and society pull us away from being rested into chaos.  If we all truly lived in the no-news inside,  I believe the affect on the outside world would be one of tremendous peace.


  1. this is good stuff...i need that reminder not to base worth on success as i find myself now having bitten off more than i can chew and having to cut some things...

  2. The inscrutable Rumi -- so much depends on what motivates us. Many outward goals and achievements are illusory. When I was a child I wanted to become a famous singer and then at school I realised I didn't have a good-enough voice. Accepting my limitations has been a hard but good learning curve. Still daydream though and I still sing in the bath!

  3. "The soul wishes to be at rest" thank you for giving me something to ponder today, Syd.

  4. My husband had severe dyslexia back in the day when no one knew what that was. He was put in a school for handicapped children and didn't learn to read till he was thirteen years old.

    In the years since, he has accomplished everything he set out to do. I believe it ain't over till it's over.

  5. The fog makes the world look ancient. Like before there were homes built along the shore. This is such a beautiful image. Your words about your friend touch me. I'm struggling with the same sort of issues with my son. I don't know how hard to push or where to draw a line. I struggle with the difference between reality and hope.

  6. I never could pass basic Algebra. But it turns out I am talented in Statistics. According to most, you cannot do Statistics without a good understanding of Algebra. I am glad no one told me I couldn't. Because I wouldn't be doing what I am doing for a living now.

  7. We run the same path at a different pace today Syd.

  8. Rumi rocketh.

    That Future looks pretty good from my blog these days: a complete re-design, and a complete blogger re-creation.

    Kicking wheat seems to have had a far greater effect than just weight loss and appetite loss and Creativity increases, you know?

    Stop on by.

  9. Boy oh boy. Does that ring true for me!

  10. I don't usually comment, but I want to tell you how I enjoy your blog for its quiet truths and kind tone. This is just the latest example. Please keep on...

  11. Wow, what a great post. I have a new perspective to think about. Thank you!

  12. "The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on."

    Thanks, Syd...for your wisdom and for reminding me of Carl Sandburgs delightful poem.

  13. Rumi is amazingly cross-cultural, timeless. What a wonderful poem to choose. It tells me to mindfully cherish the many small comforts that make up my quiet life. The gifts of deep friendship and love, having a sheltered place to rest, while outside, the world grows colder under its hard crust... these are treasures.

  14. loved this post.. thanks for sharing.. that was a great Rumi quote.. haven't seen that one :)


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