" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

July 17, 2009

Sailing Lessons Ain't About Sailing

About a week ago I met this man. Actually, I accosted him in the parking lot of Mobys, a local pub/restaurant, and if it hadn't been for Murray and Kathleen visiting and Murray saying something about wanting to go sailing, I wouldn't have gone up to this guy. But, as luck would have it, I left the pub and walked right by him in the parking lot not more than 15 minutes after Murray's original comment. So, I said what I said and had I not, I wouldn't have gone sailing today.

All that fresh air has made me tired now however so because I'm tired (and tomorrow is market day) I have to keep this short.

His name is Don and he built this 39 foot sailboat about 20 years ago and he told me a story about how that came to be. This may not be exactly right because he was telling me on my deck after dinner and I didn't have my notebook so who knows.

He tells me that things weren't going so well for him at that time. He was really trying to figure out what to do with himself all those years back and he had somehow forgotten that what he really loved and what he really had dreamed about doing in the past was to own a sailboat.

He was seized by this idea and knew that it was right. So, he decided very shortly afterwards to go visit this boat building place about 20 miles outside of Montreal where he lived at the time. He took a train and found the place and just as he was approaching the place this older yachting-type dapper gentleman with the ascot and the navy blue blazer, came out of the building. He approached him and said that he wanted to learn everything he could about boatbuilding and he'd be willing to start doing any types of odd jobs just to learn. The guy chatted with him and said, we're actually looking for four guys. Talk to the foreman. Come and start on Monday.

At the same time, a friend of Don's invited him to a talk where the ideas of a man named Prem Rawat (Maharaji) were being shared. He didn't know anything about Prem Rawat at the time but he decided to go.

He says he always sits at the back of any room because he's an observer, and used to being on the outside since childhood, so he sat in the last seat closest to the door. As the talk began, the person giving the talk on Prem Rawat's behalf zeros right in on him first and calls him up to the front of the room. He proceeds to do "the technique" on him and show him the techniques and then says that he needs to come back again in a few days. Problem. That's when he was supposed to start his job. He feels compelled to return however to complete what he must.

But what should I tell them? he asks about his new workplace. Tell them, says the teacher, that you have a spiritual sickness.

So, he has to call the foreman and ask if he can start the job a few days later than scheduled. Why? asks the foreman. Is there a problem? I waited a bit, and then just said, I can't come, I have a spiritual sickness. I have to do something that will help it.

The foreman had a bit of a melt down and yelled at him about work ethic and how religion can't get in the way of his work but Don insisted that he just couldn't come until a day or two later than expected.

So, he goes to hear this seminar and he says he felt so incredibly good after the sessions.

The next day, he wasn't sure whether he'd even have a job but he decides to follow through and show up to the workplace. The foreman simply greets him, gives him the hours of work and tells him to proceed to working on one of four boats that were being built.

It just so happens that the boat he was directed to work on was exactly the boat he had dreamed about owning one day and during the 10 mos of working there (before the foreman and him clashed for the final time) he learned everything he could about how to build a boat like the one he ended up building, which took him seven years.

It's called L'Orenda which means "spirit" in Iroqouis and that's a little funny if you know how much he seems to hate the word "spiritual" because of all the "posers" for lack of a better word in the "new age" movement.

He's been taking people on sailing charters for 15 or so years and today Karin and I and five other people were treated to the luxury of being on his beloved boat sailing to Galiano and back.

I thought it was a bit ironic after I got off the boat when I thought about the day how someone like him who seems very much like he doesn't like to talk about himself to an extreme would end up coming into the pathway of someone like me who does nothing but ask questions.

The best part was that Karin began asking him questions as well about how he made the boat because what he doesn't know about Karin is that she's involved in blacksmithing and she works with Iron as a result of her art and is genuinely interested in how things are made. So, for the first while he was probably feeling overwhelmed by our questions so much so that he said we were cut off, restricted to only 4 questions each (and this was before we'd even left Ganges Harbour)!

I can't help but think that our meeting is not a coincidence(and I smile as I write that knowing how much he would hate such a statement because of how New Agey it is) but I just know there are some lessons to be learned here - by him and by us - and those ain't got nothing to do with sailing she says with a sly smile.


Ben Anderson said...

There are no coincidences in life,

Everything that happens, happens for a purpose,

And there is a goodness and a purpose in the Universe.

Ben Anderson said...

Our symbiotic connection to all things in the Universe,
whether they be vibrantly alive, or subtly otherwise,
....is utterly astounding and very real - there are no coincidences.