Monday, November 8, 2010

Spirit (2)

How drab the world would be in black and white.  How rich, the color of every bloom, the green of trees and foliage, the blue of the sky, the reds and oranges of a sunset.  One could walk along a deserted highway, an endless stretch of black pavement bounded by dry, empty fields.  No color, nothing to see.  Not to be chosen.  Better to have a path that meanders through garden and woodland, infused with color and verdant lushness, the air filled with birdsong, the rush of a cascading waterfall, the murmur of a bubbling brook.  Slow down, and the world around you will come into focus.  Leave the barren road and stroll the verdant path.

("Flight" took three pages in the little book, so I'll insert the other two pictures as I go along.)
The ocean is a special place.  It is foreign to most people.  It lacks the security - the "firmness" of land.  If one were to fly, by oneself, it would be hard to let go, to fall freely through the sky, till one's faith and wings take hold and bear one up.
There is a similar difficulty in letting go when one goes to sea in a small boat.  It is difficult to believe that there is any safety in this strange environment.  One clings, and fights the motion of the boat.  Knuckles whiten, teeth clench, and muscles begin to ache.  Needless to say, you begin to wonder why you have once more agreed to an ocean passage.  You think thoughts of freedom - of being removed from this situation and of being safely on land.
But you seek the wrong freedom.  It would be far more beneficial to wish for a freedom from the fears that are causing you your unhappiness.  It is like letting go when you are ready to jump from an airplane with your parachute.  There is a large element of trust involved.  Trust that you folded your parachute correctly.  That the parachute will open when you pull on the cord.  That you won't be so frightened that you'll freeze and be unable to pull that cord.  But there is also an element of trust beyond the basic mechanics of the situation.  Perhaps you whisper a prayer or rub a lucky rabbit's foot.  Perhaps it is just a matter of taking a few deep breaths and acknowledging your belief in your own inherent abilities.  Whatever, there is something that you must draw or call on to make a successful jump.

One might view a jump as successful in two ways.  The first could be that you left the plane, pulled on the cord at the appropriate time, and executed a safe landing.  But think of why you were up in that plane in the first place.  Was it not because you wished to fly?  To experience the pure joy of "letting go" and falling freely through the air, arms and legs spread from the body, wind rushing by, sun highlighting your bird's-eye-view of the earth below?  Therefore, the jump will be truly successful when you let go of the fear and relish the freedom of this unusual act, the joy and the trust that is there for you to experience.
Different on a sailboat?  Not really.  Though it certainly takes considerably longer for the "jump" (from shore to shore) to be completed, let go of the tension, accept what fear there may be, loosen your hand from where it is clutching some part of the boat, loosen your mind from where it is mentally clutching handholds, and sway with the motion of the sea.  Say a prayer, rub a soggy, salt-sprayed rabbit's foot, or look inward with trust in your own abilities.  Your ability to not only complete the passage, but to do so with a wonder and appreciation for your "unusual" surroundings, a belief in your own safety, and a trust in your inner spirit.  Give it a chance.  You, too, wish to fly.

(More to follow.)


Robin said...

I love this post Jean!!!
Fear keeps so many of us from fulfilling our dreams and passions.
Should our new phrase be, 'Just Jump' ?

Pepper Cory said...

Great post. very thoughtful but enough eye candy for us color junkies. Keep writing Jean.