Wednesday, November 05, 2008
From a Sailor Named Cameron
"You get a lot of time to think when you are alone at sea on a small boat, with few distractions but the water rushing by, and the stars at night, standing on deck alone and insignificant on the wide ocean, naked, peeing into the full moon... The downhill run to Papeete is a classic one, sailing right into the southern cross, It took 8 days to sail from the Marquesas to Tahiti, and in that time I experienced every emotion in the rainbow, from sheer terror, to sadness, to un-controllable mirth. I purged every dark corner of my mind, with nowhere to run from the truth, and came away cleansed, lighter, and much much stronger.
I realise now that I have shed almost all my fears. I am not afraid of dying, and I am not afraid of being alone. Actually, my life is wonderfully streamlined when I am left to my own devises. I am not afraid of being judged. I am not afraid of what I do or don't have. My idea of success is not based on money, but rather on the ability to wake up and say "yes, let's go to the waterfall today". The idea that freedom IS the end goal, and that money is just a means to that end, and that if you are not careful to make the distinction, the chasing of money can actually take away from that freedom--the means becomes the end. By that measure, my life so far has been a smashing success, and the only thing that scares me anymore is letting this crazy, beautiful life pass me by. No matter how hard I try, I will only have a fraction of the adventures I would like to. I will only see so many sunsets, I will only hold so many beautiful women in my arms.
Saying yes becomes more urgent as we get older, yet harder and harder to say. Life thunders by, and dreams are crushed beneath the wheels of time. I find that not being afraid is a tremendous freedom in itself. I will remember to say yes, more than just 'whenever possible', for it is at these times when I am most alive.
Who said, 'our greatest fear is not that we are weak, but that we are powerful beyond measure?' That hits the nail on the head. I don't know where this crazy, stormy, leaky boat of a life is headed, but I sure know that its beautiful out here under these stars..."