Fri 5 Dec 2008 17:58
Noon Position: 31 30.0 N 062 52.6 W
Course: Southeast Speed: 3 knots
Wind: Northeast, light breeze
Weather: overcast, mild
dilemma n 1 : an argument presenting tow or more equally conclusive alternatives 2 a : a choice or situation involving choice between equally unsatisfactory alternatives 2 b : a difficult or persistent problem.
That about sums up how I have felt about whether to continue on with my circumnavigation or not. Having to choose has been enormously stressful and I am very grateful for the understanding support I have received from friends and family, but obviously it is I who has to make the choice, which it seems I have done. Where this will lead I do not know, I can only hope that in attempting to follow my dream it will lead to a better place.
I am currently re-reading Joseph Conrad's "Lord Jim" (boy can Conrad write) about a young man coming to terms with an act of cowardice and where it leads him. I just love some of his lines:
"But do you notice how, three hundred miles beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines, the haggard utilitarian lies of our civilization wither and die, to be replaced by pure exercises of imagination, that have the futility, often the charm, and sometimes the deep hidden truthfulness, of works of art?"
Is it possible to get 300 miles from our civilization anymore? Globalization!
Jim comments on the circumstances leading to his act:
"There was not the thickness of a sheet of paper between the right and the wrong of this affair."
Marlow, the narrator, replies, "How much more did you want?"
I love how Conrad develops his plot and themes.
A wise person whom Marlow consults about Jim has this to say of Jim's predicament (I have heavily abridged the text):
"There is only one remedy! One thing alone can us from being ourselves cure! . . He wants to be a saint, and he wants to be a devil - and every time he shuts his eyes he sees himself a very fine fellow - so fine as he can never be..In a dream..
And because you not always can keep your eyes shut there comes the real trouble - the heart pain - the world pain. I tell you, my friend, it is not good for you to find you cannot make your dream come true, for the reason that you not strong enough are, or not clever enough. Ja! .. And all the time you are such a fine fellow, too!
The way is to the destructive element submit yourself, and with the exertions of your hands and feet in the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up.
In the destructive element to immerse. That was the way. To follow the dream, and again to follow the dream - and so - ewig - usque ad finem.."
I wonder if this character was the inspiration for Yoda in Star Wars?
("ewig - usque ad finem"? - 'ewig' is German for eternal I think. 'ad finem' - Greek: to the end, 'usque'? )
So we continue on.
And I'm contuinuing to sleep - Zzzzzzz.
All is well.