“Does this path enlarge or diminish me? … Choosing the path that enlarges is always going to mean the path of individuation.”
— Carl Jung
Our culture does not take kindly to nonconformity. It is the scorn of our peers probably more than anything else that hinders our living out of our unique center. The fear of others’ opinions—their ridicule—their cross examinations paralyzes us more effectively than flat-out opposition.
Much good is left undone because of this fear! The irony is that the opinions we fear most are not those of people we respect, but those we don’t like! Yet, these very persons influence our lives more we want to admit. This desire to be in good standing with them can lead to an appalling mediocrity and a frightening non-freedom. Living in harmony within one’s center, shapes and forms a liberated follower of the Soul. Albert Camus once said:
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence becomes an act of rebellion.”
And says Brennan Manning:
“There is nothing more maddening to the mob than a free person.”
It happens every year after I have returned from a long cruise. The blogs for PassageMaker are done again and I am sitting down to dinner with Baci, my 12-pound Teddy Bear Schnoodle, a couple will be walking by and I'll hear her say, “Look Arthur, he is eating dinner just like normal people.”
“Yes, Ethel, I see,” will be the reply.
Baci barks and I walk out of the saloon with wine glass in hand to see who is staring in the windows this time. The wife looks confused and the husband looks longingly at my boat. She has just gotten her hair and nails done, while he has exercised by walking through the mall following her from Macy’s to Dillard’s. Tonight they will watch reruns of Lawrence Welk and play Uno.
I introduce myself and Baci and they ask me, “Do you live on this boat?”
“Yes, I do, but with all the hurricanes, water spouts, pirates, and breakdowns out at sea while I float aimlessly until my rescue, it is difficult,” I'll reply.
The wife glares triumphantly with that “I told you it was a stupid idea to move on a boat and sail off to the islands” look. He slumps his shoulders, looks downcast, and knows that his dream will never be realized.
I can hear you now. “Chilberg, that was a mean thing to say!”
Well, it may be true, but here is the reason. Lee and I were sitting one morning on the flybridge at Hog Cay in the Exumas when I began this blog and we were the only boat there.
We set up our chairs on the beach that day and drank Pusser's Pain Killers, while we celebrated that we caught two mahi the day prior. Now we are in the Hub of Abaco cruising between Marsh Harbor, Hopetown, Great Guana Cay, and Man ‘O War.
We will snorkel on a coral reef and then return to Mud Puddle Rose. Later we will have to decide if we want some fresh caught mahi or lobster for dinner. Then we will sit on the flybridge and watch another gorgeous sunset before we gaze at a star-filled sky looking for meteors to flash by.
Lee’s granddaughters Sierra and Deleah have joined us for a few weeks to enjoy the Abacos, snorkel, and sightsee.
It is so fun to watch people marvel at the Bahamas for the first time. I never tire of their response to the beauty and stand in awe of a return to nature.
I don’t have anything against the Arthurs and Ethels of this world. I just don’t want them coming to Hog Cay or our other favorite spots and spoiling our solitude. Plus, I probably saw that Lawrence Welk show with my parents 55 years ago!
I guess what I am saying is, “I chose to move at the speed of nature rather than accelerate to the velocity of my culture.”