Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sailing and Other Lessons

I DID IT!!  IdiditIdiditIdidit!!  I did it.  I DID it. 

After being ballast on various sail boats for the last several decades, I learned to sail solo yesterday.

A certain Fine Young Man spent a wonderful afternoon tutoring his mom in the fine points of sailing his gorgeous, banana-yellow Escape Rumba.   Turns out he’s an excellent teacher; patient, kind, and willing to turn the tiller over to a rookie without hesitation.  Maybe it was the confidence he had born of his own experience, plus the certainty of a small lake, gentle breeze and really good life jackets.
My first lesson: Go that way.

Fun is not the right word to describe the event.  Total focus, delight, deep satisfaction, - oh yeah it was fun.  Memories of sailing with my dad, the delight of hanging out with my son, hot sun, perfect wind, Handsome Husband watching from the shore enjoying a cigar, it was a complete blast.

Fine Young Man recognized early on that an important element of my lesson was to learn what to do when things go awry: getting dumped and righting the boat.  Once that was accomplished – both being way easier than I anticipated – the rest was just fun zigging and zagging across the lake like I knew what I was doing.  Handsome Husband could hear me laughing from the shore.

Sailing, like living well, seems to be about balance, both literally and figuratively.  Being too careful puts you in a position to wallow or flounder, meaning, quite simply, you don’t get anywhere.  Taking too many risks or not paying attention and you’re swamped before you know it.  Keeping yourself in the sweet spot takes experience and knowledge plus a willingness to experiment and except the consequences.  You can’t learn to sail by reading a book; you have to get wet.
Tim and I, soaked, sunburnt, and loving it.
There are lessons in all that for a studio practice as well, of course. 
Balance: risk, safety; pushing, pulling; standing boldly before the easel or checking email just one more time…

How is your balance?

1 comment:

Liz Crain said...

I am so with you on this: thanks for sharing your success-at-last and how it happened. Love those Fine Young Men, too. And, yes, it all applies to the studio as well.