If you are a dreamer, a doer, a horizon viewer - come in! come in! Announce yourself and let it be known.
The seed of adventure has been sown.

The goal is to take this boat on a trip that no other Wharram boat has taken.
From Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories up the MacKenzie River to the Beafort Sea
and westward to the Bering Sea and south to the inside passage on the Alaska and British Columbia coast.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I just finished reading "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. I had seen this book in a second hand bookstore but instead of laying out the money to buy it I put my name on the waiting list at my local library and waited. That was last winter when I was still building Tsunamichaser. I'm way beyond that point now balanced on a pivoting point. On the one hand there is my desire to take off for a few onboard Tsunamichaser and on the other work pulling me back into a huge project. Aptly it was nicknamed the Giga Gig during the lunch meeting I attended today. Which path should I follow? On the one hand there is the disassembly of the life I live drawing my wife and daughter with me into the blue yonder of unknown and on the other is the land of money with all the corporate theatrics that go with that. No life change necessary. When I started building Tsunamichaser everything was really clear. Day in and day out I went to the shed and built a boat. I had a method, a goal and a voyage figured out. Or did I? Now I'm left hanging.

Gonzales' book is a great tale of survival. It's also an understanding of how that drive works. But it's also more. He uses the term BE HERE NOW. That is where I find myself. Except I'm not here now, I'm in between not committed to anything and therefore going nowhere. Survival isn't just about getting out of a bad situation deep in the mountains or far out at sea. It's everyday. We make the wrong decisions about so many things as we flounder through life doing what we think is expected of us as opposed to what we want to be doing -- truely. It's only when we face the big scary monsters in the closet and we avoid the final smear that we think about survival. "Oh wow I survived that! I must have done the right thing." But it's the insidious day to day things that kill us or atleast kill our soul.

Survived another one! Alaska wake up call - remote trigger avalance in the Valdez backcountry with car sized blocks of death cookie snow

It was then timely to be reading not only "Deep Survival" but also Jason Lewis' log of his 13 year adventure circumnavigating the planet by human power only. I got me thinking. What have I done in those same thirteen years? 13 years takes us back to 1994. In my case to the age of 32. In that time span I've mostly worked. I've owned several companies and as I do I took every fifth year off to do as I mostly pleased. A year of sailing and mountaineering, a year of skiing and biking and the building of Tsunamichaser I have more money than I did then but am I richer? Have I seen, touched come to know the world? Truthfully no. As I'm doing now, I've mostly been sitting on the couch. Yes I've been climbing in Alaska, big mountain style, I've sailed a fair amount, skiied and kayaked but it all adds up to months of adventure not continous years. It wasn't a concious place more an escape to recreation.

Gonzales has some great tools and explanations to help you gain the understanding of how the self goes about the survival process particularily in as he puts it in deep situations. What I need to know is how do you survive the little stuff that gets in the way before it kills you. How do you get out of the being lost that the majority of us live in and get into the be here now?


Anonymous Jim said...

Lurking behind your thoughtful writing, I think, is the "Big One"; the question "What am I here for?"

The answer to that and whether or not we have in any measure succeeded, will determine our measure of contentment as we face the end of our lives.

Many religions and philosophies frame the question as a choice between following the path of exploitation or the path of compassion: whether we indulge the urge to power or priviledge over others or whether we reject that and live free, grant others freedom and help where we can, be it family, friends or community.

The corporate world offers, at the management strata at least, power. Power over others (to get things done), power as in ego (I did that) and power in terms of the money on offer and perhaps grasped.

To gain it, all you have to do is give up your freedom which, ironically, is the only real power you have and ever will have.

I guess it is possible to use the corporate world to gain freedom for yourself and others just as it is possible to get sidetracked into power and ego building boats. Although, I admit it is not immediately obvious.

Good luck,


6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim you hit the nail. Being 45, I’m in that questioning stage of life also. 13 years ago I had sold my soul to the corporate nation. The power over others in corporate life is a huge stimulus to the ego. But for me the agony of worry for the employees should I make the wrong decisions and lose a contract took all the enjoyment away and just leaves stress and high blood pressure. So I’ve taken my corporate power(money) and have walked away. I’ve been asked to return but can’t image that every happening. So I’m cruising on a 26 ft Heavenly Twins catamaran but am still looking for the answer to that age-old question. Good luck Thomas and Jim with your quests.

6:38 AM  

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