Posted on: March 3, 2011 Posted by: Cole Ruth Comments: 2

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” – Moby Dick

“The reason I [sailed in the race] was that after 15 years’ service in submarines and commannding submarines continuously throughout WWII, I was really a nervous wreck. I undertook this voyage to pull myself together… psychologically.”
– Bill King, one of the nine competitors in the 1968 Golden Globe Race


Paul says I should settle down. Come back to California. You had a life here, he implores me. Come back and we’ll throw parties and invite lots of hot guys. You can even stay here on our couch for two weeks – rent free!” In the back ground his daughter yells, “Three! Three weeks!”

And it’s tempting. Every once in a while I get this sudden panicky feeling and I just want to throw in the towel. Usually these doubts are caused by silly things. Like thinking about my china, my great aunt Mable’s Limoges, which is sitting in storage somewhere. Silly, right? I miss the opium pipes I bought in Cambodia, and the painting I bought in Bangkok and  my terry-cloth bathrobe. And those pink linen napkins I bought at an estate sale outside Philly. Sometimes, but surprisingly not that often, I miss a particular dress (like the white one with the eyelet) or I wish I could wear a certain pair of shoes (my Kate Spades).

I think about getting coffee with Paul or sailing with Mark or running along that part of the ocean that was mine, where I lived in L.A. I think about parties we threw, Lia and I and Asher and all those things just add up to a big desire to NOT go to sea.

But then I think about the boat, and the sea, and the moment passes, and I’m fine again.


2 People reacted on this

  1. Hej C Cook

    Another soulful post full of doubt and hope: evidence you’re alive. What more do you need to convince you you’re doing the right thing?

  2. Funny, Callowman, I hadn’t thought about it that way – that I’m convincing myself – but maybe I am. There’s definitely a battle in me (the whole land vs. sea thing). Roots vs. rootless.

    I think cold feet is a good analogy. It’s not the choice itself I question, it’s all the “ifs” on the opposite side of the choice.

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