Sunday, April 5, 2009

Embracing the winds of change… the evolution of a pirate

As we live we have endless opportunities to make choices that vastly impact ourselves and those around us. These ripples that we cause span out and become the waves that change the direction of huge ships and alter the lives of others. And what is exciting is that at different times in our lives we can look back and see the effect we had on other lives and see the course that they charted because of our influence. What is sad is that we may never really fully understand how great of an impact we really had on each other and how interrelated we really are/were.

I have gone through so much in the last decade of my life from my younger brother, my mother and grandmother passing away to the loss of a great marriage that I thought would never end. I had someone comment that I have packed a lot of life experience in the short 39 years of life that I have lived. It appears that I must be related to a cat as I seem to have 9 lives and each one starts off quite differently. I am not sure but I think I am on 4 or 5 now. This newest adventure, the adventure of exploring the sea and racing is quite intriguing to me personally. It seems as others have embraced my adventure of the sea and feel akin to it. I think that deep down most people have a spirit of exploration and adventure. I think that is how we came to America and developed such a great nation. In my other lives people used to look at me like I was an alien and could not related to my dreams. Now don't get me wrong I still get a blank stare and once in a while someone just cannot understand it, but for the most part people can related to the adventure that the world's bodies of water provide. My work has always been a function of furthering the dream at hand. The creative side of me has always enjoyed the printing and publishing industry as it has so many creative outlets in it.

Over the years I look back and see how as a pirate I have evolved. Pirates often looked at as criminals were often times simply the rebels of their time. They had resources, education, and a desire to live on their own terms. They were not afraid of the ramifications of sailing off into the unknown. In fact they embraced it, and went out looking for "new worlds." If you can imagine it was not a simple task to sail the oceans with the technology that existed during those beginning years. Now sailing is very much a well oiled science.

I look back and see the rough sketch of a man that embraced his fears. What is funny is that one of my greatest fears was of success. And somehow that fear kept me from my originally ordained destiny. I believe that we have a progressive destiny and that as we make choices and close doors that new destinies now become available. I do not know that there is just "one" destiny and that it is impervious to deviation. I do not believe in predestination. I believe that we have choices and that we make them of our own will. So we can disrupt or even derail our destiny or short circuit it if we want to either by things that we intentionally or unintentionally do or say.

I look at myself now and I have a very open minded approach to learning, living and loving. I am very quick to forgive and forget. I am very slow to anger, and even slower to rage or hate. I rarely even have ill thoughts for someone. I am a seeker of knowledge and love to learn new things. I find myself now being much more introspective of my actions and how they affect others. I desire to leave a mark, and make an impact.

Also I am much more confident and secure about myself as a valuable human being. I believe in myself and want to naturally believe in others. I am trusting, I am loyal. I have progressed my understanding of people and nature and enjoy even the simplest of things. I have overcome many obstacles over the years, most of them self induced. I have endured many tragedies that were personally very taxing to my emotions. The most recent the separation and divorce to a lady that I had invested my heart into over almost a decade of concern.

I am now free in my mind, soul & spirit to take on these new directions. I am learning about the sea, weather, and stars. I am learning about new peoples and new languages. I am getting ready to embark on a great quest for my destiny. I am not sure how long I will be gone or how long it will take to prepare, but I know it will take a lifetime to experience.

I have along the way softened and slowed down. I am not longer as brash and brassy as I was in my 20's. Now I look at people with a kinder heart and have much more understanding and compassion for them. I offer more leniency and do not hold people to unreasonable requests and beliefs. I try to be understanding and compassionate to other people's plights.

All of this has brought me to the place in my personal and professional life that I am at now. Past successes cannot help me, now I must gather up the strength to do it again. Confronted by yet another merger in the second wind of my career selling printing equipment I look around for the answer. It seems much of the solid ground that I once was on has eroded and is no longer very stable. Everyone around me is either clinging on for dear life or just jumping over the rails into the cold blackish water below. I cannot just cling on without reason, and nor can I just jump ship because I am frightened. I have been told many times "it is not fear of the ocean that will kill you, it is the lack thereof." I understand that times are a bit unnerving. I am grateful for a place to claim a watch, but I need more than just existence to be happy. I need to be fruitful and see that my efforts are making a difference. I am not sure that the later is true.

I fear that the unknown holds many more rip currents and great tidal exchanges. So with that I also prepare my rations, and look to the sky for clear direction. With my industry in up evil and no clear direction to go I continue on in the way that I was at the last point when I could see the North Star. Allowing for deviation, current, and tidal exchanges I plot my course as I once knew it. Praying that as I continue on the fog will again lift and land will soon be in sight.

I do not know the future, nor do I speak that I understand my destiny, but what I do know is that I will sail until I can go no farther. I will not leave my watch and in time I hope to know why I sailed this way; and hopefully will get the change to look back and see how I impacted people for the good. I hope that as I sail through life that I leave an ineligible mark on people's souls and paths. As a pirate I hope to maintain the courage to forge forward in the darkness of the sea to my destination.

I pray for soft light, gracious wind, a glass of fine rum and a kind hearted woman. Is that asking for too much?

Pirate Mike…

"Skillful sailors are not created by good weather. For only a storm of great magnitude can teach you how to survive. Without the winds we would all be drunks, fill the sails with wind and the cups all become empty, empty the sails and the cups fill up again with rum. Idle hands become soft; storms strengthen the hands and create calluses. It is through strong hands that we accomplish great things. Soft hands are for the weak, and idle minded. "

Another Personal Thought from Pirate Mike…

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