Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Ship Of Life

We'll catch up some other time.

Frank Sinatra
The longer we live the more anchors life attaches to us. Life then becomes loosing ourselves from the encumbrances that prevent clear sailing.

It all begins the day we're born. We've pushed our way out of the limiting confinement of the womb into a world where bright lights and activity are going on all around and yet we can't do anything except flail our arms, kick our legs and bawl. We are helpless creatures totally dependant on others for food and warmth, creatures we can't understand and who don't understand us.

After a while we develop some simple but workable forms of communication. Then we learn to move around and investigate things. But we notice the big creatures around us walking and we wonder why we are crawling and they aren't. There's an anchor holding us down. We have to get rid of that limitation. So one day we get up and take a step or two. After the frustration and rage of falling down a few times we finally manage to stay up. Now we have a great sense of mobility. The anchor is gone and we can go anywhere and do anything. We're free. The world is ahead of us. They shy's the limit. We set out to embrace the world and everyone in it. Then life ties another anchor to us. School.

Now our days and hours are determined by other people and we have to be in certain places at certain times and do what we're told. What happened to the great adventure of life?

"Oh, well, We'll catch up some other time."

So we're learning to make adjustments, one of life's primary lessons. We have to learn stuff we hate in order to learn stuff we like. But it's not so bad. We have some friends and are proving ourselves on some basic levels of society. Things aren't so bad. Until one day life ties another totally unexpected anchor on us. Hormones.

Suddenly the carefree days of childhood are gone. We notice the opposite sex. Now there are challenges we are not prepared for. Now our embraces are more selective and more passionate. Life was much simpler and made much more sense before this happened.

"Where has the time all gone to?
Haven't done half the things we want to.
Oh, well, We'll catch up some other time"

Romance, pursuit and capture, success, failure, a broken heart, sex. Life has become very complicated and so has its anchors. This one is not so easy to shake off. But somehow we make it through school, or we don't, but we find an answer to the romance anchor. We just allow life to attach another anchor to us. Marriage. And shortly after that comes a family, from one direction or another. Our ship of life is now surrounded and there are anchors all over it. People are expecting things and needing things from us. We are anchored to a job, a career, a home, financial responsibility. Where are the dreams of yesterday?

"This day was just a token.
Too many words are still unspoken.
Oh, well. We'll catch up some other time."

The family grows up and leaves or maybe it brings some new children for us to see and remember those times when we were free and had no anchors on us. But the responsibilities are still holding us, it's fun but we don't have time for childish things. We lose some friends, maybe some family, there is sadness, grief, depression. We still have some anchors to lose. We're not getting any younger, someone reminds us. Grab a hold of what's left of life, embrace it and get things done.

"Just when the fun is starting
Comes the time for parting
But let's be glad for what we had
And what's to come."

Now we're "advanced in age," "a senior citizen," "old." We may have some physical anchors picked up along the way that hold us back, but there's one big anchor, stronger and sturdier than all the rest. It was the one we allowed life to tie to us from the beginning. But in the meantime it has gathered barnacles and seaweed and made its home securely in the bottom of our lives.

"There's so much more embracing
Still to be done, but time is racing.
Oh, well, We'll catch up some other time."
(Lyrics by Frank Sinatra)

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?

Only 9 responses so far. I await your answer.


Thank you.


pacifica62 said...

I like this db and it sort of gives another perspecive to life. You can call them anchors or any number of other things, but they definitely are there at the stages of life that you described. Sometimes they can be comforting as they keep us steady in the storm, other times they can stop us from growing and becoming all that we can be.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Just loved your read today DB, was so touching and oh so true on life. We all just have to hope that as we go through life that we touched other people in good ways, learned from what life has to offer and keep reaching for tomorrow, so that when our time comes we'll feel we led an interesting life, accomplished what we wanted too for the most part and have peace in our hearts.

Anonymous said...

But I do still have days of feeling unmoored...and actually enjoy it.

Liz said...

This one is for you, as I could never be considered significant!
Life is the ship we sail.
That ship has only one anchor.

There are many pirates sailing the same ocean that will attempt to throw grappling irons onto your ship and ‘anchor’ you to them.
Never confuse their anchors with yours.

The moment the umbilical cord was cut your anchor was born.
It waits for your ship to be launched.

Crack a bottle of champagne
And name the ship for the anchor that will save her in stormy weather by providing the only means to keep her head facing the waves when all other power has failed.
Because we will all seek a haven as we sailed this ocean of experience.
Let that haven be lit by the light of knowledge and known by love.

Big Mark 243 said...

I think that Pacifica is right that you can call them (whatever)... and that they mark the stages of life.

Anytime you lay anchor and stay at a spot you have stopped sailing. You are still where you were and so you remain.

You may lay anchor, but it is only for a little while before a course is set and you are heading elsewhere... I know that has been true for me and I suspect it has been so for you as well...