Still in Bermuda

November 29, 2008
At anchor St George Harbour, Bemuda
Wind: Southwest, gentle breeze
Weather: sunny, warm

We are still here in Bermuda enjoying the balmy conditions, waiting for a
suitable weather window to head back to Annapolis, at this stage hopefully
Tuesday. I am resigned to encountering some rough stuff but do not wish it
to be more than what is absolutely necessary, and a major consideration is
not getting pushed north back into the Gulf Stream, if this happens it will
in turn inexorably push us back east and possibly lead into some very nasty
weather, if we encounter a gale opposing the current. No fun at all!
In the meantime I have been making use of our time at anchor getting some of
the never ending maintenance chores done; the spray cloths are repaired, I
have made a minor modification to the wind vane, done a little painting, and
oiled the anchor windlass, and tomorrow I plan on making a minor alteration
to the storm-boards. So all in all it's been a productive stop. I've also
managed to have a bit of a wander to see some sights and have enjoyed a few
sunset beers of an evening at a local pub.
And of course I have been getting some reading in as well; this cruise I
will remember as my Kierkegaard voyage. I think I have found a bit of a
kindred spirit, though I have come to the conclusion that philosophy is bad
for one's health, Kierkegaard having only lived to 42. Also I reckon
philosophers should be categorized as BD and PD, (Before Darwin and Post
Darwin) because so much of what BD philosophers rabbit on about is
completely absurd in light of Darwin's theory of evolution. I think SK must
have been a bit of a Hamlet, agonizing over decisions.
Here's a some quotes I liked from "Either/Or" that seemed pertinent to me:
"For although there is only one situation in which either/or has absolute
significance, namely when truth, righteousness, and holiness are lined up on
one side, and lust and base propensities and obscure passions and perdition
on the other, yet it is always important to choose rightly, even as between
things which one may innocently choose; it is important to test oneself,
lest some day one might have to beat a retreat to the point from which one
started, and might have reason to thank God if one had to reproach oneself
for nothing worse than a waste of time."
Is this not now what I am doing, beating a retreat from whence I started a
few weeks ago?
"One sees, then, that the inner drift of the personality leaves not time for
thought-experiments, that it constantly hastens onward and in one way or
another posts this alternative or that, making the choice more difficult the
next instant, because what has thus been posited must be revoked. Think of
the captain on his ship at the instant when it has to come about. He will
perhaps be able to say, "I can either do this or that"; but in case he is
not a pretty poor navigator, he will be aware at the same time that the ship
is all the while making its usual headway, and that therefore it is only an
instant when it is indifferent whether he does this or that. So it is with
a man. If he forgets to take account of the headway, there comes at last an
instant when there no longer is any question of an either/or, not because he
has chosen but because he has neglected to choose, which is equivalent to
saying, because others have chosen for him, because he has lost his self."
An apt metaphor! Or try this one on for size:
"The act of choosing is essentially a proper and stringent expression of the
ethical. .
If you will understand me aright, I should like to say that in making a
choice it is not so much a question of choosing the right as of the energy,
the earnestness, the pathos with which one chooses. Thereby the personality
announces its inner infinity, and thereby, in turn, the personality is
consolidated. Therefore, even if a man were to choose wrong, he will
discover, precisely by reason of the energy with which he chose, that he has
chosen the wrong. For, the choice being made with the whole inwardness of
his personality, his nature is purified and he himself brought into
immediate relation to the eternal Power whose omnipresence interpenetrates
the whole of existence. This transfiguration, this higher consecration, is
never attained by that man who chooses merely aesthetically. The rhythm on
that man's soul, in spite of all its passion, is a spiritus levis. ["light
breathing"]
. the crucial thing is not deliberation, but the baptism of the will which
lifts up the choice into the ethical."

Good stuff!

Bob Cat:

Ho-hum . philosophy is for the birds, which is the best way of digesting
this stuff, i.e. eat the bird. My philosophy is if you have a problem you
can't decide upon then, you guessed it . sleep on it. By the time you wake
up the problem probably won't even exist anymore. Mind you the food problem
isn't improving no matter how much I sleep. Still never give up hope I say.
Back to it. Zzzzzzz.
All is well.