This past weekend, the entire family enjoyed 3 days on the boat. With each moment aboard, we feel more of life, the life. The life of enjoying each moment on its own merit, the life of an unhurried pace, the life of caring for ones place of residence not just for sleep but for physical safety, the life of being so close to nature, the life of flowing with the tides, and the life of being. The shift in attitude between being a professional, modern world denizen, with many parts of life abstracted away to one of a water dweller whose focus is on simplicity is quite profound and it has taken me a few days just to reconcile.
The responsibilities are still present in both worlds, but the hurdle of what constitutes importance changes: on the boat, fewer of life's tasks are deemed as “important.” When one tries to artificially inflate the importance of an effort, the effort pushes back and slows everything down. There is a pace to boat life, and it will not be altered. The consequence is that those tasks marked as important get more of the present moment focus and each one is more fully enjoyed.
After the 3 days, we drove back to Atlanta and that evening I boarded a plane for a work trip to Orlando. There was no grace or warming up period. I jumped from one extreme to the other and this made the contrast between the 2 types of life, and how it manifests within me, clear. My mood, my thoughts, my food, and my drink all are complex and wrapped in artificial (read: man made) importance in the non-boat world. Given societies machinery, non-natural stimulus for importance is intrinsic to its functioning and has its place. The bigger question for me is, do I have a place within it? At times yes, and other times no. Today, I am straddling both worlds.