“Such is the passage of time
Too fast to fold
And suddenly swallowed by signs
Low and behold
Gonna rise up
Find my direction magnetically
Gonna rise up
Throw down my ace in the hole”
The familiar itch and call of the horizon is pulling at me fiercely right now. As I try to navigate the waters of my daily life, the sea is calling to me loudly and reminding me of the answers that lie in her vastness. When things become at all jumbled or overloaded in my mind and heart as they are now, that pull feels stronger than ever.
As I wrote that, the image of a huge sieve popped into my mind….so much pouring through, and then the relief of finding the nuggets of truth safely guarded in its web as all that is extraneous falls away. This is exactly why I love to sail alone….being out in the sacred cathedral of the ocean is like an energetic sieve that hands me my truth if I just allow everything to flow through. For me it’s allowing the flow that is challenging sometimes though. The grandest illusion of my life has been thinking that I can control what is channeled through my “sieve”. All I can do is be vigilant in mining the nuggets and tend to the sieve itself, which of course consists of my mind, soul and heart.
Right now the greatest morsel of truth I am finding over and over again is that I need be true to my own compass and follow the call that is bringing forth a whole new direction in my life. The direction feels foreign, but familiar as well because it is woven together with all of the lessons and experiences on my path so far. Every skill and every bit of knowledge of my life has prepared me for this new journey, no matter how unrelated they may seem. It’s the thread again. If I trust and flow with that thread, I am reminded that all is revealed as it is meant to be and when it is meant to be. Sometimes this flow is a gentle brook but lately it has felt like a rushing river that is taking on a life of its own. It is a wild ride but no matter how intense the river, there is a vein of truth in it that shines through and keeps me hanging on. So I am not fighting it and am paying attention at every turn, even to things that might seem innocuous and meaningless. They are all clues and each one is urging me to ask some questions.
For example, I was sailing out of Marina Del Rey the other day aboard my lovely Cassiopeia. I was alone. I was just off the Venice pier, and I was furling out my genoa, and setting my course for a practice sail on the bay. I was doing what I, and many other people do all the time. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a zodiac flanking me. They were obviously following me, and eventually it became clear that they were trying to tell me something. My immediate thought was that they were coming to tell me I was getting too close to a race course that was nearby. When they got close enough for me to hear them however, the man driving the rib was yelling to me that he thought it was “amazing” that I was single handing my boat. My first reaction was one of gratitude and appreciation for someone reaching out to me like that, but when he sped away, I felt awkward. I was left once again with the burning question: WHY? Why is it considered so “amazing” that I am single handing my boat, when no one would probably single out a man out there doing the same? I ask this question not out of defensiveness, but out of genuine curiosity. Getting this kind of reaction most of my life, and especially now, has spurred me to dig deeper into the questions, and to create a project that will hopefully give us some answers. I don’t think it is amazing that a woman can single hand her vessel across bays and oceans because she is a woman, I think it is amazing because she is a brave human being following her call and doing what brings her joy. What is curious to me is that there are not more women who want to push themselves in this way (in comparison to men in the same arena). The questions keep flooding my mind, and my response is to follow the thread and create a documentary that will hopefully scratch the surface of answers.
I will start in the place where I am familiar: sailing. I will start with a documentary on the history of women in the Singlehanded Transpac, jumping off with the real time experience of all of us who race in 2018, and dive back into history from there. I have already contacted numerous past racers as well as some of my solo offshore sailing heroines (Isabelle Autissier, Donna Lange, Kass Schmitt, Susie Goodall and Lisa Blair to name a few) to be a part of this project. I have been met with nothing but excitement and cooperation, which to me is the greatest confirmation that I am on the right track. I hope to meet many of these accomplished women in the next couple of years to shed light on my questions. I am asking these questions from a place of deep curiosity, but also out of a desire to inspire balance in these arenas and hopefully to inspire more women to get out on the water and seek adventure.
I feel my initial questions are just the tip of a very deep iceberg, and I am so excited for what will revealed as my documentary project takes on a life of its own. I am grateful to be a channel for this project, and grateful to all of the women who have already agreed to be a part of it all!