Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heavy Weather

Last week I wrenched my arm and shoulder lifting something heavy. I exacerbated the injury on Sunday by sailing (which always involves pulling hard on many ropes) and have suffered nearly a week of considerable pain that has kept me awake most nights despite the popping of handfuls of pain killers and anti - inflammatory medication. So today I took the day off with the intention of going to the doctor and finishing off the last of my work planning that was due today.

At one point during the day I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror - Old, overweight, limping (another long story) holding onto my sore shoulder and feeling somewhat worse for wear. It might be easy to bear if the Pohutakawas were blooming on a warm summer wind; but its rainy, wet, cold, my car failed its warrant of fitness (rust), my plannings late and my jeans don't fit anymore. Bugger is all can say at the moment - bugger, bugger, bugger. In fact I feel like shit.

But maybe I should take the advice of Christopher Robin who when talking to a completely different kind of Pooh said - "Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." ---- Maybe.

Monday, July 16, 2012

If Only

Yesterday we raced in the B division in a Whangarei Cruising Clubs Winter Series yacht race. The whole day turned into a series of mistakes and bad decisions that turned the result into a whole lot of 'If Onlys.' Events soon made me feel like I was having a Glass Half Empty day.

If only the skipper had put the spinnaker up at the start of the race instead of just thinking about it.

If only the skipper had changed to a bigger jib earlier in the race.

If only the skipper had changed down to a much smaller jib and reefed the mainsail when the wind started to blow at gale force making the boat was so over powered by the wind that she staggered up the last leg and lost all her hard won gains.

If only the crew hadn't put too many turns of the jib sheet onto the winch, jambing it up so that at one stage we did a 360 degree turn with the jib back winded, while everything close by sailed right past us.

If only one of the crew and the skipper weren't trying to haul on ropes with wrenched shoulders so bad they spent the day sailing and popping pills.

If only...........

....... so on went the race amongst the breaking waves and the howling wind. We came from behind to lead the B Division, only to see our lead vanish by being over canvassed and by fundamental handling errors on the long beat to windward to the finishing line.

But, the spray flew, there was a grim camaraderie, the big jib that had been recently repaired held out despite 30 knots of wind and at times the sun broke through and shone on Mount Mania and the surrounding green hills. It didn't take long for the glass to become half full again.


Thursday, July 12, 2012


Life is a tapestry that each of us weave - and we don't know what it will look like until it has been finally woven. Forty years ago someone told me that even the supposed negative things; the disappointments and failures (and I have had my fair share) are not seen in their entirety until the tapestry is completed - only then can we judge the full value of all that we have seen and experienced - If we believe in faith, hope and love and weave these thing along the way then - as they say - 'All things will be well, and all manner of things will be well.' I hope so.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Aboriginal Tracker

One is obvious the other is not. "Yes," I hear you say, " The dopey cameraman had his finger over part of the lens; see, in the top left hand corner of the photo" - and you are right.

But the other is not so obvious - You would never see what it is even if you looked and looked and looked and looked and looked!

So I will tell you. The spinnaker pole is upside down! Yes, realio, trulio, its upside down. How do I know? - I know because I am an aboriginal tracker.
Everyone who holds close to their heart the wholeness of their passion is an aboriginal tracker.

Some trackers can tell upon the hoof, amidst tricky technical play the exact moment a football player is offside. Others are correct to insist that the orchestra should have tuned better to the oboes 'A' above middle C. Still others know about metre, rhythm and rhyme, plot and character, vintage and year - But moi? - well I know about spinnaker poles, storm jibs and a running compass fix - For I am an aboriginal tracker, a realio, trulio tracker - I see the clues laid across the natural pattern, the broken leaf and spore on sand and earth.

No matter what the weather - storm, calm, sun, wind, rain, snow or mist - We who hold close to our hearts the wholeness of our passion - we are trackers all, and we never loose our way.