Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Leaving the life you live - Day 968

I used to work at a meat processing plant in high school. It was awful work all done at 32 degrees F. I would get soaked to the skin, underwear and all, in blood. Cold blood. And I did it for 5.75 and hour. I loved it. I was working with adults. I could work hard. The thing that made it bearable to me was the fact that I knew that I was going to only do it for the summer. Every day, everybody I worked with complained about their job at break, lunch, afternoon break and everytime the boss was out of earshot. The complaining never stopped. Ever. I haven't worked there for 18 years. I drive by there and see the same red Chevy truck that one of the guys bought brand new the summer I worked there. That man is still in that square room. He is able to see his breath all day at work. He is standing in blood. He is cutting up meat for restaurants. In a way I admire this. It is kind of a long obedience in the same direction. It is what he does. I think that in a way he kind of enjoys it, even though he complains every moment he can. I can still hear him.
I could never do it.
Working at this pace and doing what I am doing is still a very enjoyable part of my life. In fact, I am probably investing in auto repair the same or more than I ever have and could not see myself in a situation where I was not diagnosing and improving something. It is who I am. It is not, though, all I will ever be. This is what it means to me to dream. To paraphrase Brad Pitt, "I want more". Brad makes this a universal statement of every man. I am not so sure. I look around me and what I see is herds of people who want nothing to change and definitely do not want more challenge. I want to stretch and grow. Sailing is one of those things that challenges me from every side. I have to be a better leader, better navigator, better decision maker. I have to balance several conflicting needs in an adverse environment while leading a tired and seasick crew with equanimity. In short, I HAVE to be more than what I am. My brother Newton calls sailing constantly walking along the edge of a cliff. You are always on the edge. Even sitting at anchor you are in danger of dragging, fouling, sinking, getting hit or robbed. Sailing requires a diligence that pays off in the ability to go places and see things that a very few can. It is like farming in that you are making your own life, except you have freedom. The vessel that we take this trip on will be called Precipice, a cliff, the edge. If you are not living on the edge you are taking up to much space.

1 comment:

Cornel said...

Hallo Rolland

you dont know me at all but i have read so many of ur blog's, i am Cornel a 23 year old South African man ,i admire what u do, u are living my dream since ive been a littel boy watching a catamaran sail out to sea, while i stood stuck on the shore line.

jelouse is a understatement in my case :). ive been safeing for years and is learning to sail with my best friend Johan, My dreams looks very big and impossible to other people, but i need, no i have to see the world like u and ur family, life seems to make sens wen u do wat u love and working a 7 to 5, 6 days a week isn't my dream

I hope u wil look over the horizon for me and know that u have one normal boring guy that finds excitement in reading ur blogs. And who know's maybe one day il be sailing past u on the vast big blue world

to oure dreams
kind regards