Just over the Caspian? 41,000ft 1830 UTC Tuesday 28th March En route to Phuket
Have you ever read The Life of Pi? You should...,
Over the past week or so i have been dealing, dealing philisophically not wrestling, with a number of profound thoughts, reflections and experiences.
I know many people think I have not registered the seriousness of a broken back and how close I came to being permanently paralysed. ( I am sure it would never have been from the waist down anyway - but possibly from, say the thighs down.....) I also notice that people tell me to "take care" with a resigned sense of feeling that words are falling on deaf (or thrawn) ears.
I can assure you I was very aware of how fortunate I was and I had many personal thoughts about it. But these always end in the conclusion that it is "Onwards and Upwards" and live a full and exciting life as always.
I have thought about many other things too and one or two events have caused me to think deeply about life.
I have seen young life needlessly and tragically ended bringing back memories of us losing our father in tragic circumstances when I was eighteen.
My reading at home was Alistair Urquhart's "The Forgotten Highlander" telling of the privations and unbelievably inhumane conditions and cruelty experienced by young men while POW's of the Japanese during the building of the Siam - Burma railway. The Death Railway. Where over 100,000 people died at the hands of the Japanese.
I have borne witness to someone who has told me how they now intend to
commit their lives to Christianity.
I have never quite got the Royal famly thing. On this flight I have watched a movie-The Kings Speech. Now I am a proud Scot, i am resolutely not a royalist or a unionist in fact I think you may say I am downright anti establishment. I have no time for any of that stuff. But - and it is only a movie- I gained a small understanding into how people can appreciate and take pride in having a king or queen to follow. It is not perhaps the king or queen in itself which is important but perhaps that societal benefit can be had for some or in fact for a whole country with a proud heritage such as England, from having some such thing to follow. Perhaps. This is almost unrelated however to whether you think having "royals" is right or wrong or whether they merit your support. What I am examining is the effect of the " loyalty".
Like how it is not important whether someones beliefs are (in others opinions) right or wrong but that they believe, and that faith in itself, providing it does not harm others, can have a tremendous positive effect on individuals and society.
During a doctors visit ( to check the meccano was all tight) the discussion quickly came round to the circumnavigation and the Doctor asked what only one or two people so far have asked. Not "what has been your favourite place so far" which many people quite understandably ask, but the more thought provoking "what have you learned about yourself" or "how has the trip changed you"? The Doc suggested I should write my experiences down.... ( I couldn't beluddylieve he wasn't reading the blog.....)
His question is an interesting question and one which I can't quite answer.... Yet.
I feel I have gained tremendously from this experience to date but can't quite put it into words. I feel a different person, I have gained enormously from the experience to date but can't find the words to describe how. Most interestingly I suppose, is that i don't feel the need to define or describe it, Nor to join the dots of the experience but I know in myself I have benefited hugely from the experience. I feel much more of a citizen of the world. Not fatter but certainly more rounded.
I know you won't believe this but I think I may even have had a brief encounter with humility. Certainly I have learned to show much greater respect for other people, though I did not think I disrespected people previously. Greater respect for other nationalities, ethnicities, for women, for different cultures, peoples religions and faith yes faith. That's the thing. Faith, loyalty ... Love?
I can now to a greater extent, very non- judgmentally look on others, their beliefs, their faiths, their cultures and again providing they do not harm or force others to follow their way, and without in any way feeling i need to question my own beliefs or values, respect and appreciate others for what they are.
If you have not read, or not understood The Life of Pi, it far more eloquently, inteligently and logically than I, makes a case for the value of faith for faiths sake.
This blog is I appreciate, a little disjointed right now and I am sure does not really convey to you what I have "learned" from our experiences to date.
Ominously however I feel
what we may learn in the next few months is .......... that the SW monsoon in the Bay of Bengal is not conducive to pleasant cruising and that the Agulhas current and the Mozambique channel in a Southern Winter is not a nice place to be...
Later in the week we will get back to sailing blogs!
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