Monday, 27 September 2010

The letting go

Offshore cruising is one of the few situations where the importance of letting go become crucial. If you can't let go - you're getting nowhere.

I was thinking about this when I stood on the bluff close to Golden Gate, and wondered why I kept looking towards the next bluff; the distant trees, the drifting fog.

This is all mental. We've met several cruisers, mostly elderly cruisers, who have stayed too long in a port. I guess they fell in love with a place, but it often goes together with a gathering of horror.

In most situations we can't let go at all; we cling to hopes and memories. We know the world is uncertain and that everything is in flux, but we still build our lives around these mental fixtures.

But the ability to let go is important. We have to let go of rude remarks, lousy drivers, or people we just find irritating, for whatever reason.

We have to let go of the past: ex-lovers, former spouses, or a really unfair treatment at work. We have to let go of fear: fear of getting cancer, a sudden heart attack, the fear of dying in our sleep, of crashing in cars or airplanes.

Offshore cruising take this to the very core: you start by the dock, and let go of the lines. Later on you let go of the coastline. Then you let go of your country.