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Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Here Now

Drifting itself is an art, one to which an apprenticeship must be served.
From Shantyboat by Harlan Hubbard

A clock hangs on a friend's wall, a smiling Buddha at center face. The hours of the day ring him round; Now. Now. Now. Now....

Sailboats often set a course, and within certain constraints, her crew will do what they can to maintain it. These sailors are going somewhere, usually, working their way from point to point and port to port, as often as not, against conditions. Uphill. Goal-oriented. We don't call it 'working' for nothing. Tight and focused.

But for those of us without a destination, there's another mode: sails full and by the wind's whim.

Don't you just love it? Sails full. Wind's whim. Full and by. Just rolling the words over the tongue eases one's sheets. We fall off the wind, into harmony with the moment. Headin' downstream toward points and  ports of opportunity. Dreamy and driftin'.

Both modes have their place. Sometimes ya just gotta get somewhere, wind and tide notwithstanding. Others, it hardly matters which of the treasures you pluck from the world's store.

Funny thing is that both invite a sense of Be Here Now, of being in the moment. Wind and water, vessel and sailor are creatures of the moment. Wind breathes and water leaps. Our sails swell and rigging sings, our hull drumming to the sea's own beat. Mind and muscle follow the music, dance in step with every lift and lilt. Joined as one in the dynamic Now.

But how different the flavor!

Be Here Now, working a course is poised, aggressive, challenging and invested with oh yes and oh no! The course is set, not by the wind's whim, but our own will, and is prone  to disappointment. The wind is fair? O joy! The wind is foul? Sigh. The wind fails? Grind your way by might and main over whatever tide is our lot.

Be Here Now, full and by is relaxed and easy. Oh yes! There is no wind that is not fair, and even no-wind is a drift on the tide. And at the end of the day, a harbor of unlooked-for beauty.

So we sail full and by so often as we may, by inclination and choice. The bells of our ship's clock chime the hours; Now. Now. Now. Now...

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