The journey continues.

I haven’t been in a sailboat for years but I remember the feeling of flying across the surface of the water.  The spray in my face, the wind buffeting against me — these sensations linger, decades after I last hoisted myself into a boat from a slippery Martha’s Vineyard dock.

I remember, too, the rudimentary lessons which my host gave.  Look down, look out, look down, look out — constantly gauging where I’m going but also monitoring  where I stand in the water.  Check for hazards – here, there — always.

Once in a while, look backward, to remember where you’ve been.

Now I get my bearings in life the same way.  I take stock of where I stand, look forward to measure the possibilities, and occasionally I glance over my shoulder, in the pages of my blog, at old and fading poetry written in my journals, to recall what I felt and experienced.  I respect those who say they only live in the present, not thinking about the past or the future.  But that doesn’t work for me.  The past formed me; the future calls me; the present surrounds me.  Each contributes to the richness of my life.

It’s the twenty-third day of the thirty-second month of My [Endless] Year Without Complaining.  Smooth sailing with the occasional iceberg.  Life continues.


CC, circa 1970.

CC, circa 1970.

3 thoughts on “The journey continues.

  1. Pat

    Heard a Ted Talk last week that said the present does not exist—everything is actually in the past or the future, the only thing is how far it is in either direction. Throws a new light on living in the present.

    1. Ruth Roberts

      99% of the thoughts we have are repetitious. So we can dismiss them. Just like our heart beats our mind thinks and chatters. In the moment we can give direct and steady focus to what we are doing. When washing dishes, only wash dishes. Don’t ruminate during that time or get caught up in the mind’s chatter. This is a way to peace. You need to think to plan the future and the past to teach us lessons but we don’t need to dwell there. The mind will tell you lots of stories and you can get attached to them. What fires together becomes wired together so when a thought repeats it’s as if a groove in a record is being created. Pretty soon we believe the story that the mind created. Present moment awareness takes effort. I post a guard at the door of my mind and be sure I know what thoughts are arriving. I don’t open the door or entertain all of them.

  2. Linda Overton

    I have to agree with Pat. Just a short time in either direction is enough for anyone to handle at a time. When delving into the past just visit don’t take up residence.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *