Wednesday, October 13, 2010

True Spirit

'Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.'  
Helen Keller

In my last post I mentioned that I'd enjoyed reading Jessica Watson's book True Spirit and that I'd learnt a lot from her. (For those who need reminding, Jessica Watson is the youngest person to ever sail solo, unassisted and non-stop around the world). My mother in law, Jan, asked me to specify what I'd liked about the book because she thought it would simply just be a rehash of Jessica's blog posts....
Well, it does include most of her blogs... but it also includes so much more! 
What I found most enjoyable was that Jessica often explains the 'real' story behind her blogs - what else was going on and what she didn't publish at the time for various reasons. The biggest message for me though was 'feel the fear, and do it anyway'. I have struggled with my own fears/worries about everything from imaginary jellyfish to waves and things that go bump in the night. And so, in seeking a way to overcome this, I have sought encouragement in reading about Jessica. When she was little, she was afraid of everything - she wouldn't even go swimming in the pool with her siblings. Gradually, she learnt to get over the fear (I think her stubbornness was a major factor) and went on to achieve something that most people would never attempt in their whole lives - at the age of 16!

Her big message throughout the book is that anything can be achieved if you believe in yourself, have a dream and aren't afraid of working hard towards that dream. She also emphasised that planning is everything when it comes to travelling by sea. 

Jessica has an amazingly strong character. She talked herself out of feeling scared, angry, upset, frustrated, homesick and overwhelmed. She did this by talking to herself and forcing herself to see the bigger picture. She realised (as we all do at some time) that the only person we can truly rely upon is ourselves. And, she was able to rely on herself to get rid of the negative emotions and replace them with positive ones. This is something that I still struggle with - I have a tendency to blame others for my own problems and then try and get others to solve my problems for me! I think Jessica's method of building her own bridge to get over with her own strength is inspirational. 

So essentially, Jessica Watson's book traces her life story from cruising up the QLD coast with her family as a tweenager (I spelt it like that on purpose btw)  to tackling the seas of the world alone. She has taught me a lot and I will continue to admire her for her courage and strength of character.

'Throw back the shoulders, let the heart sing, 
let the eyes flash, let the mind be lifted up,
look upward and say to yourself... 
Nothing is impossible!' 
Norman Vincent Peale

This week, we gave away one of the old sail's (that was sitting around taking up space) to our neighbour here in the marina - he thinks it will fit his boat, Tarnica. I glued more carpet onto the hull (but still have a lot more of this to do). Rene sorted out the cords of chaos that had developed into an insane tangled maze - we love technology but despise all of the cords that accompany it! He also built a special 15watt plug for the marina's outlet as that is one of their (many) requirements.

Rene's inverse portrait (from the back).
We had fun at the local regional gallery here - they held an event called The Big Draw and we got to make stand-up portraits of ourselves.

While at the local internet den to print some forms (they never seem to end do they?), Rene noticed that the painting above the counter illustrated an invention idea that he'd had a few years ago. The invention was for a horse bicycle - the horcycle - the theory being that if humans can go much faster on a bike, why not horses? He posted his idea on a website that caters for this kind of crazy idea (you can read his idea and check out this cool website here
We wonder if the artist read Rene's idea and was inspired to paint?

Rene with a local artwork depicting his invention idea.
On a lighthearted note, we finished watching the Seinfeld series - I would often watch an episode or two while making dinner and have finally completed them all after about 6 months! We also finally finished listening to an amazing audio book series by Philip Pullman called His Dark Materials. The first book in this series was made into the film The Golden Compass (starring Nicole Kidman) but due to the anti-religious message of the remaining two books, they will probably never be made into feature length films. We think that Studio Ghibli (makers of: Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and so many more) should animate the story - it has all of the characteristics of their kind of stories (strong female character, spirits, adventure, self-discovery etc). But until this happens, we thoroughly recommend reading or listening to the stories.

Some great out-doorsy times this week, including a picnic on The Strand, lying under the shade of palm trees with sea breezes caressing our skin. Then last night, we jogged for most of the way back from the Rockpool at night and I loved all of the endorphins! I want to practice jogging and become better at it - any tips? I seem to run out of air very quickly!
Peaceful picnic view.

1 comment:

  1. Great comment about Jess Watson.
    She is a remarkable person!
    It is great that you folks have taken to the sea.


    For more about JW,