Saturday, August 2, 2008
Sailing Away from the Safe Harbor
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"
-- MARK TWAIN
So am I bummed about the benefit vs. cost of my trip to England? Well, a little, and I suppose I'm disappointed a bit, but I also know that if I didn't go I would have regretted it down the way. Yeah, staying home would have been safe, but as Michael Lillie writes in one of his songs: "Ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for..."
For those who don't know, I had a bout with Hodgkin's Disease about 25 years ago. So having been a bit closer to death than most, I tend to look at life differently than I might otherwise. I try to experience lots of things and push beyond the bounds of what I'm comfortable with. An example would be the trip Susan and I made in 2004 when we rode a tandem bike across the country.
Here's another quote that tends to motivate me:
"...but when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money — booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
-- WILLIAM HUTCHINSON MURRAY, OBE from near the end of The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951).
So, yeah, if you're thinking about coming to the Worlds in the Gorge next year, I say go for it! I plan on being there, God willing, and hope to see you. If you don't make it because it's out of your comfort zone, you may regret your decision later.