Monday, November 3, 2008

Over-Steering, Buoys and Debris

Yogi Berra, once said
“ You can see a lot by observing.”

Cruising the Chesapeake Bay in the Autumn months is a blessing.
As a passenger, I am feeling the scenery
as we are present
this first day of November
In what feels like the peak of the Fall foliage.
The water's lull marries
the freshly-raked
leaf-fragrant air,
the specially chosen sound track
weaves this experience into my being
Its resonance carried aloft
absorbed into the air
absorbed into the brackish
Chesapeake Brown-Green-Gold

I am Grateful for this opportunity
to appreciate this day
in this ever apparent
tailor made way.

But Soon I am asked to take to the helm, as my husband needs to attend to the engine momentarily. It is a large vessel, and I am fairly comfortable with navigating in the wide open, but the Chesapeake is dotted with Crab Traps and unfortunate slabs of wood and other floating debris.
I must sharpen my awareness, and shift my focus, scanning the expanse both to prevent damage to our props, and to spy the upcoming red and green buoys in order to keep on course.
It is a large Stainless steering wheel beneath my hands, and as soon as I spy the buoy I am to aim for, I cross hand over hand, and begin towards my course. I shift my gaze from the water to the GPS to see how far off the next focal point will be. I see the small boat-like figure that represents our vessel on the screen, and quickly note that It looks as if it's intending to spin on it's axis.

I've over steered.

Steering a boat is nothing like steering a Car. It's Much more subtle.
I correct my over-zealous attempt at capable navigation, and try to steer less.
It takes some thought.(or possibly less thought) I decide to focus more on the expanse ahead, and strain to find the next red buoy which I am to keep on my right.

I am finding that less is more when it comes to steering a course with no obstacles to avoid. Sharp Turns are reserved for Avoiding collisions with undesirable debris.
Just Keeping a course actually requires much less severity, and much more trust.

Steering the Vessel that is my Life is the same.
It's subtle.
Only there's no external GPS to follow.
It's a combination of internal GPS
And trial and error.
Sometimes, I just narrowly miss the debris
and sometimes I hit an unfortunate slab
dead on,
and my "props" get bent
I am left dry dock, nursing my wounds.
When I have repaired,
My propulsion is fresh
As if I never took that bum steer
And hand over hand
I begin again
with the knowledge that
indeed debris
are to be expected
and if I need to take a sharp turn to avoid a collision at the last minute
than so be it
But it will take sharpened Awareness
and a shift in focus

But Cruising is a Blessing,
if not an Adventure
And if I am intent on Feeling the Scenery
then I must scan the expanse
for both debris and buoys
if I'm to stay on course,
And it's not always the course I originally charted

"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again."

Abraham Maslow
1908-1970, Psychologist

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