In sailing terms, the Point of Departure is not the port from which you set sail. It is the last sight of land you see as you head into the open ocean. This is significant in that, prior to this moment one would sail along the coast, or land, as a reference. In times of trouble you could always turn in to, or away from, land as you needed. Once out to sea that no longer became an option.
At home, alone, we find ourselves similarly placed as if we were in a boat at sea. At sea, all that you have is the boat and your shipmates. At home, it is the same. Some, like me, sail with their furry companions. Others sail solo, and not from their own accord. This time, I feel, is hardest for them. During my social hour, I mean when I scroll through Facebook to see the latest culinary creation or to watch the Governor’s address, I happen upon those few messages-in-a-bottle. Those conscious attempts to connect to someone, anyone. Some of our friends are having a tough time navigating this ocean alone.
Please, if you are reading this, I promise you have not reached the Point of Departure. Land is, your friends are, still in sight. We are all here. You can reach us by Facebook, by text, or even a call. Sailors at sea take great joy in greeting passing ships. Whether by flag or by radio, they reach out and share the news they know. This should be us too. We should take the extra minute to reach out to those whom we know. Maybe, especially those we do not touch base with too often.
Sailors, who must constantly fight the boredom of the sea, rely on one very important thing to keep their minds distracted. That thing is routine. While we complain about work, the routine of getting up every day, getting the household ready, and pushing ourselves out the door to work is part of what saves us. British sailors would holystone the oak decks of their ships, basically sanding them with soft stones, to keep them clean and white. This was done as much to keep the crew occupied as it was to prevent splinters.
I read a story about an artist who finally had enough time to commit himself to his passion full time. He cleaned out a room of all the junk, took down everything from the walls and painted the entire room white in preparation to create great new works. You might imagine what happened. He was not able to create anything that satisfied him. It turns out that our creative minds crave inspiration and we find it in every day experiences. He filled his walls, and room, with all of his favorite art. Immediately he felt more creative. Even in the blankness of this unknown, we can fill our rooms.
I cannot offer much more than these last few words but I hope that you might find something in them.
- Develop a routine: Be it coffee on the deck at the same time every morning, reading for an hour day, doing all the dishes, etc.
- Seek inspiration: Share your work for others to see, tell your story on FB, and look to others who will share with you.
As with all things, this too will pass. Look to yourselves and to your friends and family.