Wednesday, January 17, 2007


First, let me thank those of you who wrote and shared your wonderful comments. I do not even know who some of you are, and your support is just as welcome. The past week has seemed like one Sunday after another. My routine disappeared as the family gathered and mourned. Today, for the first time since this all started, I am just beginning to get back some of the old sense of "I". That, in turn, was stimulated by Derrick's blog about being in the middle of a vast body of water.

When I sailed my Hans Christian 42 on Lake Michigan, I loved being off shore. I was often solo and liked being able to take care of myself. Of course, I had a well-founded cutter with 6 tons of displacement a good compass and all sorts of sybaritic systems. Kayaking, on the other hand, has been a more intimate experience for me.

Being inches, rather than feet, away from the water's surface is a personal experience for me. I am not so much on the water ( or even in it) as with it. I can dangle my arms and touch the stuff, I can scull with most of my upper body in it and, of course, I can take a refreshing roll in it. I don't leave a huge wake, and I disturb virtually nothing. Except for some nervous birds, nothing seems to object to my presence.

If you are not from around here, you can hold up your hand with your palm facing away from you and pretty much have a map of Wisconsin. Your thumb will represent Door County where Rutabaga has their symposium in spring. JB, Derrick and I have been teaching there (and, why, they ask us back is a mystery...but I digress). In any event, I have thought about the symposium upon wakening the last two days.

I am not a big off shore guy anymore (hence, the reference to Derrick's blog). I very much like day trips and returning to a base. I've been to war, flown upside down at supersonic speeds, saved lives, won Judo tournaments and experienced the love of Lady Linda and family. I don't need any more "thrills" than that. There are still, however,two things around paddling that turn me on to this day: just being on the water and feeling competent (not to be confused with cocky) and teaching.

At a pool session a few weeks back I waded over to a father and son struggling with rolling. I offered my humble help and had the son rolling in no time. Today, I received an e mail from the dad saying he had returned to the pool, worked on what I had told him and got his roll. Is that not excellent, or what?

Tonight, I will return to the classroom to teach Anatomy & Physiology at a local college. I guess I am back in the game...and I want to be back in warm waters. I want to be back in Door County. I want to be at the symposium. I am awakening. (ps: The photo is the Med.and was taken from a hotel in Tel Aviv).

Paddle safe...


1 comment:

Michael said...

Glad to hear you're back in the saddle, Dick. It's hard to do, but we all know it's the best 'cure' for difficult times.

I see you've gone to monotoring incoming comments. As annoying as I find it, I'll soon be forced to do that as well as I've been plagued recently by some nasties.

All the best!