Not an Anchor but a Mast

“Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral. But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed. Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast.” – Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

“Restless in rest” sums up my weekends, and my time on Buzzards Bay, and sailing, and in the garden and in the house… and in stillness. I need to keep moving and doing things. I’m not much of a meditator. I calm the mind through doing things. Meditate? Do the dishes! Weed the garden! Paint something!  Trim the hedges!  That’s my meditation. Rest is not in my DNA.  Even at my desk I had to put in a sit/stand adapter because I can’t sit still all day.  I guess that makes me a child of space, like a worker bee.  Worker bees don’t sit still. They fly far away, find and collect beautiful bounty, and return it to the nest.  They simply… work. And so must I.

This concept of your house as a mast mesmerized me, for uh, verily, I’ve long thought of it as an anchor.  In normal times my career takes me to faraway places to busily go about my work and then to return home to the nest with whatever I earned along the way.  Home was an anchor that held me to a certain place, the opposite of a mast.  Wandering souls need masts and disdain anchors, like a dog tied to a tree gnaws at the rope. But don’t we need both?  A place to ground us and fair winds to fly before?

Every night I lie down in bed with a Groundhog Day feeling.  That feeling of doing the exact same thing that you did the night before and the night before that.  That’s what staying home does to me.  And yet every day is different, full of progression and setbacks and new discoveries and familiar faces seen in a new way.  And I wake in the morning and set the sails and find new ways to move forward.  Shunning comfort.  To be hungrier.  To run lean and with an eye to the horizon.  But you’ve got to weigh anchor before you set the sails, even if it’s only in your mind.

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