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APPRECIATING STILL WATERS

SAILING MY VESSEL

Part One It was the most interesting of dreams. She was a most exhilarating sailing vessel. At least sixty feet long from bow to stern. With two huge white sails, clean decks and polished rails. A craft built for speed and rough seas. Yet the sea was as glass. Not even a breeze.

With daily schedules being so interrupted, my sleep routines (or any routine for that matter) has been non-existent. Often, I feel I am asleep when indeed I am awake. This is very evident when trying to make a difficult or challenging decision lately. Half awake and half mentally asleep. This particular mental vision was so vivid. Yes, the yacht was magnificent. I can still see all the ropes and hear the very gentle water lapping against the hull clearly in my mind. Seeing those things kind of brought me some joy, as fancy things, experiences and hopes always brings some sense of anticipation. To be clear, I never desired a real sail boat. Although admired from afar, I only had one opportunity to enjoy such an exhilaration. It was on my honeymoon over 30 years ago. I remember loving every second of the bouncing waves and mist splashing in my face. Watching the crew constantly scramble to keep the massive sails round and full. Although most of the time it seemed chaos, they knew where they were going and how to fully utilize that boat to get them there. My poor new bride was just tossing her cookies overboard. Lol This time there was no wind. In my mind, the sails hung like wet laundry on the line. No crew, no spouse. Only the sounds of a few begging seagulls broke the silence on the flat Topaz blue water surrounding me. I could faintly see the outline of a distance shoreline. Part Two My creative tendencies have always leaned toward sentimental events, the colorful array of people, and the natural beauty of our world. It is a great honor and challenge to help my friends and clients create a single piece that encompasses everything they want to express. Each time they look at their hand or in the mirror, that piece reminds them of a person, a place, or an event that evokes a small feeling of joy. Sadly, our world is currently not full of much joy. At least that is what some would want me to believe. This new world is ruled by fear. I believe if Satan had a corporation, fear would be his largest and most profitable department. Peripheral products and services of his worldly empire would be anxiousness, jealousy, strife, gossip, anger, dishonesty and dissension (the Mainstream Media LoL).

All human activities fed and nurtured by the main corporate office of fear. For myself, this is not the type of environment that produces positive inspiration for me. In fact, the constant barrage of fear and negativity from those who claim to be helping is like throwing a drowning person a life preserver made of stone. Their words carry no hope, just division. Too much wind creates a hurricane. Too much information. What is no longer valued, is no longer effective. Alone with my thoughts, I began to become very uneasy about this mental movie. Although I fully knew that this was a figment of my imagination. I found myself trying to solve the riddle to save myself. I thought of that shoreline. Could I swim? At least I would be doing something other than sitting around waiting for nothing. I inspected the small engine below deck and fuel available. My calculations concluded the land was much farther than I had once imagined. In fact, the more I stared, the more it appeared as a mountain shaped cloud. Similar to what I have been doing lately at home, overwhelmed I gave up, collapsed on some pillows and took a long nap. Why was I so tired? I have done nothing to earn this exhaustion. Part Three Sometime later, a thought came to my mind. It was not a thought of my own. My thoughts are too negative and natural. I know this to be true, because it was a piece of wisdom I was not seeking. It gave a peace I was not expecting. The words, that came smoothly into my soul, were like warm sun on my face and a soft breeze. Today, I feel better in this world and I have decided to share those same words with you. The shore represents security and sail boat represents our life. We place our families, our possessions, and our hopes for a happy life into these vessels. We grew up in our parents or guardians boats, good or bad, it was what it was. We just knew that someday we would have our own. In fact, many of us are always striving to graduate from a small one person dingy, to something larger. All our visions are different, some crafts remain simple, some with a crew, some with many sails, some with a larger fuel tank or with many more provisions. The reason this vision is a boat is because we believe the sea represents the World.

This sea is unpredictable, beautiful, terrifying, unforgiving, full of resources, cruel and sustaining. We believe that as long as the wind keeps the boat moving toward our desired destination, we are making progress. Most of us would agree that we cannot control the wind. This is where we get frustrated at God. This is where fear does its finest work. Frustrated, we begin to fill our time with activities that can cause more damage than good. Standing still is unacceptable in our culture. Conclusion As I write this story, I am watching many fisherman in their boats battle the moving river attempting to catch fish in this particular location. Unlike a calm lake, their success only comes when they can keep their boat in one spot long enough to catch something. This is the relentless battle we all face. Can we allow ourselves to remain in one, quiet, stressfree place long enough to possibly discover something new? The truth is, being still is good sometimes. Not all the time. However, when lack of constant progress makes us feel guilty, uneasy, or restless, overwhelmed, out-of-control or even lazy, we must re-evaluate. What am I missing? So I went back and looked at my original vision with an adjusted perspective.

Nothing in my scenario had changed. Now that I took the time to really look and appreciate where I was, the water was as clear as glass. Many fish were going about their business just below the surface. The calm water mirrored the clouds in the sky and reminded me that it was these moments that I longed for when working so hard. Stopping for a time allowed me to truly see, appreciate and rest. Stopping the striving, even when out of my control, brought peace and clarity if I allowed it so. Here’s the best part, although the water seemed still and my efforts were futile, the tide God created was slowly taking me closer and closer to the shore.

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