Sunday, June 07, 2009

The End Of The World As We Know It?

I seem to be going through a spate of audiobooks around the theme of
time and time travel. The Time Traveler's Wife, The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy, and now Fractal Time by Gregg Braden.

It reminds me of a time in 2004, before I decided to start rowing
oceans, when I retreated alone to a small cottage on the west coast of
Ireland, near Sligo. I arrived with a rucksack full of books and treated
myself to a one-month binge of reading, thinking and writing. At that
time, too, I seemed to have accidentally hit on a number of books around
a single theme. The books were about the Hopi prophecies, Edgar Cayce's
visions, pole shifts, and climate change – and the theme was the end of
the world as we know it.

I discovered that there is a growing body of literature, from the realms
of science, spirituality, and cosmology, indicating that we are
approaching the end of an era, and something significant is going to
take place on Dec 21, 2012. When I first started to see this message
emerging, I took it very seriously and very literally.

Now I am not quite so sure. It is, of course, possible to find
"evidence" to support almost any hypothesis (creation vs evolution, the
existence/non-existence of God, and conspiracy theories galore). When
the evidence is coming from many different spheres of human knowledge,
and from well-respected and credible authorities, then you have to take
it seriously. But there have been several previous dates that have had
various groups of people declaring that the end of the world is nigh,
only to look distinctly embarrassed the day afterwards.

But either way, what I took away from that Sligo retreat was the
incontrovertible truth that one day – whether in 2012 or not - MY world
is going to end. It was in Sligo that I really confronted for the first
time the fact of my own mortality. I realized that I didn't have an
endless supply of tomorrows, so that if I was ever going to do something
interesting with my life, I'd better get on and do it soon.

Regardless of if/when the world is going to end, or humans are going to
end, or this crazy era we live in is going to end, we can do a lot worse
than be prepared – not in the sense of going out and stockpiling enough
canned goods to last half a century – but in the sense of being
psychologically and spiritually ready to face the next stage of our
individual or collective existence - whatever it may bring.


Other Stuff:

This morning, just before I jumped overboard for my first plunge of the
day, I saw a lovely fish under my boat – a blue fellow with a yellow
tail, probably about 2ft long. Any ideas what he might have been?

It's shaping up to be quite a bouncy old Saturday night here on the
ocean. As the sun set, the wind was whipping up and I was regretting
having had my bucket-bath at 6pm. After being doused by several waves
coming over the side I had to do it all again so I didn't go to bed
salty – not good for the skin.

Lovely moon tonight – just a whisker away from full.

This evening I've been listening to Black Wave, a story about a family
shipwrecked on a coral reef in the South Pacific. Doesn't sound like
much fun – to be avoided, definitely!

Quite happy with progress today. Not a spectacular mileage, but I've
done well to make as much south as I have despite a wind coming straight
out of the East. It's all good.

Weather:
Position at 2015 HST: 18 02.801N, 161 01.222W
Wind: 20kts from E
Sea: Waves 6-8ft

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
06/1800-08/0600 E-ENE 18-23 7-8
08/0600-11/0000 E-ENE 15-20 6-7

Sky conditions return to mostly clear with little chance of rainshowers.

11 comments:

  1. Well, Roz – none of us can really know what "the," or even just "our," future holds...but you are right to live in a way that makes you sure you've lived with purpose for each day that you ARE here. Pull hard and I'll stay tuned for that fish. xo me

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  2. None of us know what the future holds but we all can make a difference for the better by living life to the best of our abilities. I was reading blogs of other ocean rowers and the “four blondes” team in the Indian Ocean row would row nude when their bums hurt to cut down on the abrasion effect. Try this and see if it helps you.

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  3. The fish you saw maybe a Yellow Tail Snapper. Just a guess

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  4. Roz, congrats on passing the 300 mile mark from Hawaii. Great progress. When you reach 500 and 1000 miles...that is when it really is going to get even more exciting.

    I enjoy reading about what you eat and when you eat daily. Any schedule? And, what you are thinking about. Feeling. In the now stuff. More about your life. What you plan to do next. Goals. Inspiring things.

    Read oceanrowing.com about other rowers. Their trials and tribulations. Even saw your picture there. Fascinating. Before meeting you, I never ever thought about anything on OCEAN ROWING. It's a new world of adventurers like you.

    I notice mostly men row. Couples, too. Teams. All kinds of boats. Seems like your BROCADE is the most state-of-the-art. Please tell more about what it does on the technical side. How it was designed. How the color was chosen. How come not a bright yellow or orange...so as to be easily seen from the sky. Curious.

    Also, I'd like to know what safety precautions you take when their are 20 foot waves about you. Hurricanes. Huge storms. Especially as you approach the EQUATOR.

    How many days supply of food do you carry? Twice the number of days you project? How many Larabars do you eat a day?

    Roz, thanks for sharing... Aloha!

    Lorrin

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  5. Anonymous2:57 pm GMT

    Good morning Roz.
    A good average of 26.6 miles a day. That's very nice.
    Nostradamus talked about the pending apocalypse but what few people realize is that in the 16th century the word apocalypse did not mean the same thing it means today - not final destruction - but rather a new beginning, a new order. So I'm not sure of that specific date of 12/21/2012 (it's all about numerology here I think) is THE date, but I'm certain that we are facing an incredible challege ahead of us that might bring incredible changes for the better - Isn't it what we are all hoping for in a way - Isn't why you're doing this - to bring about awareness that we need to drastically change our ways, how we see each other, how we consume (this Earth), how we care, how we LIVE...?
    As for one own mortality here's a recent story I'd like to share with you as I think you'll appreciate - I was with my 13 year old son Julian at the ball park watching a simulcast of TOSCA in which he was singing in the first act before joining us. He was pleasantly surprised when he notice, upon arrival at the stadium, the size of the audience of 30,000+ souls. He watched the end of the second act of the opera on the screen and then turned around (we were at the very front), looked at the crowd breifly and said - "Do you realize that within a 100 years all of these people, all of us will be gone" - At 13 he realized that tomorrows are few, dispite our shear mass on this planet, we are but a speck in time.

    This must be a great time in your life, when you live for a purpose, are strong physically, astute mentally and loved by so many.

    Sebastian in San Francisco

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  6. Roz, I loaned my Savage Pedometer to my wife to wear at her Whole Foods job to see how far she walked in the course of a normal day. It was 7 miles! And that's the daily distance recorded two days in a row in what she says are not out-of-the-ordinary days. In comparison, I only do about 3,000 steps at work. It really underlines the difference between an on-your-feet job and how little exercise you get at a computer job like mine.

    I'm encouraging her to take the pedometer and sign up for Pull Together.

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  7. Roz,
    The End of the World isn't so bad. It's living in dread of it that sucks. But there's even worse. Ruminating over the moldy past. So if the world ends, let it be done. Otherwise, the present is here.

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  8. Today's comments (as well as prior days') are thought provoking ... a simple thought comes to mind after spending last evening with Dionne Warwick at a benefit concert in Oakland. It was true 40 years ago and more so today:

    What the world needs now is love, sweet love, it's the only thing that there's just too little of ...

    Love the earth, for humanity ... act now ... with love

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  9. Chris Kay11:19 pm GMT

    A newly discovered
    Form of meditation.
    One more way
    To discover me:
    Row an ocean,
    Not a lake.

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  10. Anonymous4:22 am GMT

    Hi -

    Just discovered your website and your effort. Very impressive and inspiring. Hope your backside gets a chance to heal.

    The October release of your book seems so far away - I truly hope you make it to the Midwest (US) for a book signing.

    I will look forward to reading your blog posts and tweets. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers

    -Mike C.

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