Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015 - Sailors


Been thinking a lot about sailboats.  They’re not good for anything without the wind, are they?  Nope.  They’re rather long and narrow and not as pretty as many other boats when the sail is down.  Ah . . . but when the sail is up and the wind is caught, then they shine, don’t they?  What makes a sailboat “go”?  The wind, of course, and that’s something completely out of your control.  Well, not completely.  You do need a wind, but how you use the sheet to trim the sail shows your skill and experience level.

Full of potential, but nothing is happening.

And this is what I’ve been thinking about:  what makes things go.  What is the wind the lifts our sails--in the figurative sense?  For each of us it’s different.  For me, it’s inspiration to write a particular piece.  For others it might be a project idea, a job well done, a feeling of love and adoration, an intense desire for an outcome, etc.  But there’s always something that fuels us, and that something begins like the wind, which means its beginning is beyond our control.  Inspiration, love, adoration, desire, etc., are things you cannot consciously “dial up” and cause to happen.  They just  . . . happen.  We could write volumes about where they come from, but suffice it to say that we are not the original authors.

So now you’ve got your inspiration, idea, desire, etc., now you have the motivation, now you have your wind.  Now you’ve got the power!  But what you do with that wind, that power, in the sail of your heart will determine your happiness.  It is not the wind that sails the sailboat, it is the sailor.  Knowing when to make adjustments and knowing when to increase tension or ease it will make for a successful trip.  It’s the same with us, and this knowledge only comes from failure, trying again, succeeding sometimes, and experience married to time.  But nothing ever happens if the sailor doesn’t sail.

Of course, these days most sailboats have an engine or at least an outboard motor to help maneuver them through harbors that are much more crowded than they used to be.  It takes a skilled sailor to pull into a slip and stop on a dime without an engine, but it can still be done.  For us and our own hearts, there are no engines or outboard motors.  We have no choice but to be skilled sailors capable of breezing through tight quarters and catching the wind for the ride of our lives.

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