Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 61 - Faith Miles

Faith Miles is what I call the distance rowed that might not get me
closer to my destination, but it's putting me in a good position to take
advantage of helpful winds at a later stage. On the Atlantic, I had to
head south to pick up the trade winds that helped me over to Antigua.
The old sailing lore is "Sail south until the butter melts, then turn
west."

Leaving from San Francisco on Stage 1 of the Pacific row I spent 6 weeks
zigzagging down the California coast and actually wondered if I was
going to land up in Mexico, before I finally managed to break free and
pick up the trade winds that assisted me to Hawaii.

On both those crossings I got used to what Leo in our podcasts calls
"reverse progress". I spent a week going backwards at one stage on the
Atlantic, and several times got pushed back east between San Francisco
and Hawaii. But neither instance was too bad, because I knew I was
gradually being going to end up in the helpful trade winds.

This passage is rather different. I am under no illusions that I can get
across the Equator by waiting for trade winds to kick in. I don't have
that "Get out of jail free" card to play here. I keep getting pushed
around by winds and currents – north, south, east, west – and I'm just
not sure if I'm going to win through in the end.

A few times recently I've started to feel like, enough already. This is
my 61st day at sea, and there are still nearly 1,000 miles to go. I'd
rather be heading there (wherever "there" is) more directly. I'd like to
be able to predict an ETA and get things organized for landfall – like
where to store my boat, book flights for Nicole and Ian, sort out
accommodation and so on.

But that is the short cut to insanity. Whenever I catch myself thinking
about the ETA – whether optimistically or pessimistically - I bring
myself up short. At this stage it's just unknowable. I have to keep
myself purely in the present, and focus on the process. What is going to
get me there? Rowing. Not wishing, calculating, or yearning. Just
rowing.

Focus on the process, and keep the faith.

[Blogger's note: I feel like I ought to apologize for going on about my
navigational challenges. But there really isn't much else to report. No
more wildlife sightings, no exceptional audiobooks. If you'd like to
take advantage of this hiatus to ask me some creative and unusual
questions, then please do so! Just bear in mind that I am having to do a
lot of rowing, so time for blogging is more restricted than previously.]

[photo: Typical ITCZ. Today's video RozCast (see YouTube) was recorded
during a squall. With the reduction in resolution necessary to send
video, I don't know if you'll be able to see the rain dripping off the
bill of my baseball cap, but I can assure you it was most definitely
raining!]

Other Stuff:

Today I nearly, so nearly, got back to 4 degrees 30 North. I was within
half a mile when a thunderstorm overtook me and I decided it was
probably prudent to beat a temporary retreat to the cabin. As I write
the rain is still pouring and I am being pushed WNW. My direction of
drift is very difficult to predict – it seems to be a delicate interplay
of strength of wind vs strength of current. What appear to be very
similar conditions can produce very different results. This is why, even
with the best weather information in the world, ETAs are a totally
pointless exercise.

UncaDoug – sorry, no crescent moon sighting. The big black thundercloud
has blotted out everything. I can't see a single star, and it's darker
than a witch's armpit out there!

Eco Champ of the Day is Naomi in NY:
"Today I decided I'll wash out my plastic "take-out" container from the
office cafeteria and reuse it for lunch here every day from now on until
it falls apart. And the fork, too. I will not throw away another plastic
fork, spoon or knife. I've been getting these plastic take-out
containers and forks/spoons/knives virtually every day at the cafeteria
for years and throwing them away DAILY. Never again. (I met a guy on the
train a while back who told me that if we used just one less napkin a
day the impact on the planet would be profound.) Thanks for your videos
… where I learned that the overuse of PLASTIC is the number one threat
to Mother Earth. I actually "knew" this, but it is in seeing you and
hearing you as you DO this amazing rowing thing that it's finally gotten
through to me to the point of action."
Thank you Naomi! I am sure other people in the cafeteria will see what
you are doing and hopefully follow your example – and this is how we
change the world. I'd urge everyone else to think twice about using
anything that has the adjectives "disposable" and "plastic" applied to
it. You might dispose of the plastic, but the Earth can't!

Thank you to all my lovely Rozlings for the ongoing comments – comments
from regulars and occasionals are all welcome. Especially over these
tricky weeks ahead, I appreciate your support and encouragement all the
more.

Quick answers to quick questions:

A: Roz, Did you weigh yourself before stage 2? How much weight do you
expect
to gain or lose on your journey?
A: I weighed 137lb before I set out – which is more than I like to
weigh. I was having to buy roomier clothes. On the Atlantic I lost about
30lb, weighing 104lb when I arrived. Then regained it, of course.
Pacific Stage 1 I lost a little less, weighing 107lb on arrival, with a
bodyfat percentage of 10%. This time around – not sure. My feeling is
that I'm losing less weight, but it's hard to tell. I'll weigh in when I
get to Island X and let you know.

Q: How are your birdbrain friends doing?
A: See last week's blog for Day 56. They've gone.

Q: How deep is it where you are? Very?
A: Yes, very. Probably about 2 miles – but you're in a much better
position to find out than I am! I think the information is available on
the RozTracker. I can't access the internet from here, so I'll have to
leave it to you to research this question.

Weather report:

Position at 2125 HST: 04 30.675N, 175 11.731W
Wind: has varied from 0 to 20+ knots, but generally 20 knots E
Seas: 4-8ft E
Weather: Overcast at times, scorching hot sunshine at other times,
occasional squalls throughout the day


Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com:

Using last night's Feedblitz blog email (22 Jul), reported position was:
04 32N 175 19W as of 22Jul 1930HST. Your are still in the ECC which is
good because you might want to be at this latitude for as long as you
can.

As of Thursday, 23 July 2009. Wind predictions still uncertain while
in the area of the Equatorial region. According measured data, there is
SE winds 15-17kts over your area. To the SE (between 01N to 04N and
168W-170W) of your position, there was a patch of measured winds of
40-50kts in rainshowers.

It would appear you are almost through the southern boundary of the
ITCZ. According to satellite imagery, there is minimal convection south
of 05N. There is one exception.the patch of high winds to the SE. This
is associated with downdraft winds in convective cloud activity.

Movement eastward should be viewed as positive because south of the
Equator the prevailing E to SE winds will carry you westward with no
problem. If you are too far to the west already, potential landing spots
in the southern hemisphere might be missed. So just hang on for the ride
and take the Eerly current as long as it lasts.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Isolated rainshowers, squalls,
and possible thunderstorms.

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in Roz's position
and the fluctuations in wind direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
23/1800-25/1800 SE 12-17 3-7
25/1800-28/1800 ESE 10-15 4-6


Next Update: Monday, 27 July

35 comments:

  1. try not to attach yourself to the thought of getting where you think you have to get to so much that it starts to drive you nuts. I know easy for me to say, I'm not rowing, surrender to the beauty of where you are each moment, and just keep rowing, keep rowing. You have everything you need, this one is just going to be the toughest one so far, enjoy it while you can, you have to make it, there is no other choice. mb

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  2. Roz - never apologise for the blog posts they show us that you remained determined, you are safe and also it helps us feel part of the adventure

    Now you know how I love to get inside your mind! If we were sat having a wine in Leeds what would you be saying to...

    How has your mindset changed from your first adventure, I am assuming that you grow each journey?

    Also

    I am always intrigued at how supposedly humans need human contact...and yet you seem to thrive without it..do you ever crave human contact, a hug....

    You keep going girl and tell Nicole great podcasts in Leo's absence...brill love them

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  3. So close to the equator Roz, that will bring the surprise celebration you have in store. My training group will have a celebration in your honor to celebrate beer, wine, champagne and a variety of foods.

    What king of medicine did you pack on the voyage?

    Cheers
    Greg

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  4. Anonymous11:23 am GMT

    HiRoz,

    Thanks for answering me. It is stunning that I can write to you at night and have an answer waiting for me when I get up. Truly amazing.

    About Asheville and Malaprops - our bookstore - (By the way, i have no business affiliation with it - just love reading and independent businesses) there have been a large number of famous and merely well-know authors here. Charles Frazier lives near here and was #1 on teh NYTimes bestseller list for Cold Mountain. Eric Weiner (Geography of Bliss) came here - he was # 8. Gretel Erlich was here. Elizabeth Kostova too. Jill Connor (Sweet Potato Queen) comes with each new book. Elizabeth Gilbert has been here a few times.

    Please, if your publishers are reading your blog, add Asheville to your list of places to come with Roz. There is a huge outdoor community here, a lot of readers, and many many people who care a lot about the things Roz is promoting.

    Roz - do you know about the 350 initiative? It'll happen on October 24. All about reducing greenhouse gases. You are a part of that.

    THANK YOU!

    You are amazing.
    Laurey Masterton in Asheville.

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  5. Hi Roz,

    I really like your concept/perspective of "Faith Miles"! This reminds me of a time in my own life when I paddled between 2 "islands". During that time, this quote encouraged me...I send it out with hope it will speak to you as well:

    "The marksman hits the target
    partly by pulling,
    partly by letting go.
    The boatsman reaches the landing
    partly by pulling,
    partly by letting go."
    -- Egyptian proverb

    What this quote meant to me was that there are 2 parts of the equation towards reaching a goal. The first part involves my doing all that I can within MY own strength power, preparation, skill, etc. The other half of the equation, is "letting go" and allowing the Universe to steer me towards my destination.

    This "passive waiting" while the Universe "kicks in" is hard!! Pushing the river (so to speak) never makes me go any faster. In the end, I was able to reach "land" by "investing Faith Miles" and arrived at a place that was serendipitous beyond my wild imaginations. As I look back, I believe if I had attempted to do both parts of the equation myself and not been willing to let go, I would have missed my target entirely. Who knows where I'd be today...

    Roz, Thank you for being an inspiration and sharing from your heart during the lows of your doldrums as well as the heights of your trade winds. You have the Beautiful Soul of an Explorer in the truest sense of the word!

    With Peace,
    Deb (aquaphoenix)
    Traverse City, MI USA

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  6. Roz, here's an excerpt from Emerson’s "Self-Reliance" essay containing the quote, "The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks":

    "Fear never but you shall be consistent in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. For of one will, the actions will be harmonious, however unlike they seem. These varieties are lost sight of when seen at a little distance, at a little height of thought. One tendency unites them all. The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. This is only microscopic criticism. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it will straighten itself to the average tendency. Your genuine action will explain itself and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly, will justify you now...

    "When a sailboat is sailing windward, it cannot sail straight into the wind. In order to get to its destination, it must first sail to the right, then to the left, and so on, making its diagonal pattern across the waves until in the end, it reaches its final terminus. So too, this is a fitting metaphor for life. Balance is such a sticky issue and so difficult to maintain."

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  7. I worry about you being out in that intense sun of the Pacific. Us fair skin Anlo-Saxons have to be careful particularly when naked :-). Is whatever you have for protection good enough and what do you use?

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  8. Pray. Row and pray. Pray and row.

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  9. Simply sending positive vibes your way. You're in our thoughts!

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  10. Roz, we are in the dark over here, but judging from your coordinates, progress during the eleven-hour black hole of GPS silence was 3.7 miles solidly SW from the last 10:42 AM breadcrumb. I wouldn't call those Faith Miles.

    3.7 miles SW for your efforts isn't much, but it ain't hay

    I will report to CrescentMoonWatch.org on your behalf no crescent observed due to overcast 2125 HST: 04 30.675N, 175 11.731W. FYI, last night I reported my own no observation due to overcast 1925 PDT 37 40N, 122 02W. They are still valid observations and go into the MoonWatch database. Yours is special due to your location in the Tarawa-Tuvalu-Tahiti triangle.

    BTW, I have been to Asheville, NC and highly recommend you spend a night at the Biltmore while book-signing at Malaprops. Maybe Laurey can arrange it for you ;-D

    It is a wonderful cozy warm and intimate old building with loads of history set on a pleasant niche of land, befitting our Rozling Queen, wouldn't you say Laurey? Brunch at Deerpark and a leisurely stroll in the gardens (preferably in the Spring) and enjoy a variety of water features just for you, Roz. Go with the flow. Serendipity, do!

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  11. Good news! 4:48 AM breadcrumb appeared 5 miles due south of where last night's blog was posted.

    Drifting [hopefully sleeping soundly] Roz just crossed 04'30"N. We wish you continued Nerly winds and currents.

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  12. I guess going south east just to rebel against the wind wouldn't do anything, would it?

    So, I have a question about the motive behind saving the planet, or however it's called. I've been told that humans are a scourge on the planet, we're so evil and uncaring, and stuff like that--but, aren't we part of nature, too? Isn't everything we do a part of Mother Nature's plan, plastic and all? Don't get me wrong, I do believe we should do everything to take care of the planet . . . but are we really taking care of it? Or are we just making it better for ourselves? I'm sure life would learn to exist on a planet with a sick atmosphere, and some plants might die from cleaner air. Who knows. These thoughts and stuff have been kind of confusing me for a long while, but I've never been able to ask anyone about it. So, what's your take on this? I don't know if it's a too complicated question or not, because I honestly don't know that much about enviromental, er, stuff (good thing I've found your blog, no?) so, answer at your own leisure!

    I think the motive for me is like you pointed out a few blog posts ago. I'd like to breathe cleaner air and have less human disease. And I feel the world is going to change with or without me (it is its own entity, after all), and all I can do is prepare myself for the change, and hopefully take as many animals with me through the change as I can :3 (I would hate to live without elephants! I love elephants!)

    Hope I explained myself okay . . .

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  13. To support Emerson's quote brilliatly offered by Aquaphoenix - looking at the Tracker from afar you're right on target moving straight with a gentle left curve putting you inline for Baker Island and Tuvalu. What I'm waiting for is to see what direction you will be pushed in once you pass the Equator. SE, W or SW ?

    Every morning I read your blog and relay the news and progress to my family at breakfast.

    So the question that comes to mind is what would you say to some one asking you for advices to undertake a solo crossing of an ocean. Based on your blogs, I would reckognize the need to have a purpose, an awesome support team, some $, what else? What character attributes?

    A stroke at a time!

    Sebastian from San Francisco

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  14. You remind me of the Boston Red Sox right now. It seems like they keep getting to the top, the falling in the rankings.

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  15. Anonymous, Roz's survival depends on her solar panels. If they get broken by brawling boobies, she could be up s*** creek. And boobie poopie kills the electrical current she needs to make fresh water. I am sure that was first and foremost on her mind so I defend her right to defend her life support system and her life with a dust pan upside the boobies' heads.

    Rozling Rapture

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  16. Anonymous9:04 pm GMT

    I don't believe Roz has stated she hates birds. It seems she only dislikes their filthy habits when in close quarters with her. If they minded their manners, I'm sure they'd be BFF's.

    I am a big animal lover, esp. birds, but under these circumstances I would definitely have had something much bigger and heavier in my hands than a dustpan.

    SC

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  17. Is there a reason you are not eating fish you can catch or squid that land on the deck, for instance, to add to your diet (and diversity of activities)? Are you a vegetarian?

    Michelle Driskill-Smith

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  18. Thinking of you, Roz, sending you lots and lots of love, and know that supper and a warm bed await you whenever at Wychcroft in Cirencester. An inspiration, girl! We're proud of you.

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  19. Way to row Roz!!! I've been reading your post every day and sending you positive thoughts from here at my desk. :) Wishing you the best conditions for your adventure!!!

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  20. Roz, I know it's slow going, but from the macro view of the Roz Tracker you are still doing it. The spirits of the water are called the Undines. The spirits of the wind are called Sylphs. Talk to them. This has worked for me in the past - I know it sounds silly, but you'd be surprised at how focused you get.

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  21. 4°30' again! You must be doing something wrong, Roz. You'll just have to keep on crossing it until you do it right!

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  22. Roz, your RozCast tweet has the URL for the YouTube.

    I just now watched it ... incredible resolution including the rain dripping off the bill of your cap ... and the waves, the wind, the swells all gray punctuated by the Union Jack on the vigorous red flag flapping ... and your happy smiling face.

    "At the moment the battle is Savage versus Mother Nature. I would say that Mother Nature is definitely winning."

    Mother Nature may be in control and winning for the moment, but you Roz are the victor!

    Thank you for bringing the force and the fury and the sounds to us, all the while with a smile on your face.

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  23. Sad to say that today you still can't get to rozsavage.com
    if you row using Internet Explorer.
    You can if you row with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
    I know I can fix it but don't know how to contact the technical team. IE are being used by 89% of Internet surfers. Sad to think how many have clicked on a link to rozsavage.com but can reach the page because they are using IE. For us who know we can find it by using Firefox or Chrome, it's ok but for others not so good.

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  24. Hello Roz,
    Does your book have to be pre-ordered on amazon.com to be considered for the best-sellers list or can it be pre-ordered from any bookstore? I'd like to pre-order at my local bookstore to spare the plastic shipping packaging. If not, I can make a small exception. Also, if I emailed an acknowledgment of my pre-order from my local bookstore, as opposed to amazon.com, would I still be eligible to win a Larabar bookmark?
    Thank you,
    Jonathan Grimaldi

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  25. Rockin Roz When you sleep, what do you dream...DrDetz

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  26. Hello again Roz,

    In case you are interested, I know someone else is, according to Google Earth, Davy Jones locker is approximately 2800 fathoms beneath you, which is about 16,800 feet, 3.18 miles, or 5100 meters. So don't drop your phone over the side.

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  27. Michelle from Canada2:03 am GMT

    Lance Armstrong said "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

    This situation you are experiencing is temporary and will become a memory soon. But the impact you are creating on humanity and the planet will send a ripple for many many years to come.

    We're proud of you Roz.

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  28. Roz - all my holiday gift recipients will receive a copy of your book this year. Thanks for putting it on the market for us!

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  29. Roz, I have been following you faithfully since you left SF in May, and I am in awe of this journey that you are on! I just pre-ordered your book and hope to get on the list of folks for the Larabar bookmarks, but I can't figure out how to do that exactly. So, I thought I would stop lurking and just send you an email. You are in my thoughts a lot, and every day I check your blog and tracker to see how you are doing. (By the way, I have some Larabars in my desk for those emergency muchie attacks!) Press on my lovely friend--we are "rowing" with you!
    Anne D, harpspin@gmail.com

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  30. A thank you for your blog is at http://reactionstoreading.wordpress.com/2009/07/25/i-keep-coming-back-for-more/

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  31. I'm somewhat in the mode of thought as Stormcloud - the planet is a big thing. are we really damaging it all that much with anything we do? i wonder what kind of "pollutants" get naturally emitted into the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions? or naturally occuring fires, which i'm willing to bet have been "naturally occurring" for thousands of years. i recently came across a blog post from 2002 at this address: http://contenderministries.org/UN/gaia.php
    Roz, i know you cannot hit links, so FYI, this link essentially says the "green religion" and Al Gore and the whole "environmental movement" is pagan earth worship and is as old as time itself. it is anti-christian and puts blame on christians.

    now, all that being said - i'm all for conserving resources, not being wasteful (for common sense and economic reasons) and for exploring renewable energy sources (wind and solar in particular). But my motivations are purely logical - given the high cost of oil and the whole political and economic cost of maintaining the cost of oil (whether you believe there is a conspiracy to keep it high, or keep it lower than it otherwise would be), the current options for wind power are ECONOMICAL in certain places. A comparatively MODEST government subsidy - one time 30% credit - makes the math work for investors.

    But that doesn't mean I'm worshiping mother earth, or anti-christian.

    I guess my point is let's not get carried away and re-use plastic plates until they break down and we end up ingesting them (think of the potential effect on our own health in that case!), and let's be sensible and conserve safely and invest in sustainable developments. It doesn't mean we worship earth and turn from God, it just means we're not abusive and irresponsible.

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  32. Roz, I got a good view of the very faint crescent this evening 50 minutes before sunset -- I had to drive over the hills away from the overcast Bay Area (fog) -- difficult to see but I was lucky to spot it against a bright background. On the other hand, I did not even notice that Evan put the link to RozCast in the upper right corner of your blog page. Sometimes, the obvious is difficult to see ... the eye just looks past it.

    Hope your cloud conditions permit a glimpse. Odd are you won't see the crescent as early as even a half hour before sunset with a pitching boat. It takes steady focus and scanning so you are at a definite disadvantage if you are rowing and focused on an undulating sea. Depending on the clouds and whether you stay on deck past sunset, you may get a nice view of the crescent. Please tell us the time and cloud condition.

    Your course is looking great, Roz.

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  33. roz it amazing how far you have row on your leg two. I can't wait cross the Equator reach Tuvalu. you are big inspiration to all of us.

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  34. Dale Belvin8:34 am GMT

    Hello Roz It is indeed a pleasure to watch your journey unfold. Sometimes the unknown is only surpassed by the unknowable.
    I wrote this a while back and wanted to share it with you. Dale Hawaii.

    JOURNEY OF LIFE

    AS I WANDER THROUGH THIS JOURNEY OF LIFE I OFTEN MEET THOSE THAT SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS.
    NOT HOW THEY THINK IT SHOULD BE.
    I WONDER WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE IF THE UNIVERSE WOKE UP ALL AT ONCE AND THEN I REMEMBERED IT DID A LONG TIME AGO,
    I AM THE ONE THAT FORGOT.
    SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS IS THE SIMPLICITY OF LIFE ITSELF.
    REMEMBERING WHO IT IS WE ALREADY ARE.
    FREE TO SEE IF WE CHOOSE TO, THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE.
    LOST IN THE FREEDOM OF LOVE ITSELF.
    CREATING A VORTEX TOGETHER FOR THE WORLD TO SEE AND FOR US TO EXPERIENCE. THE EXPERIENCE OF LOVE LIES DEEP WITHIN THE CORE OF OUR BEING, WAITING FOR US TO REMEMBER. LOVE IS WHO WE ARE AND THE BREATH IS THE TOOL OF REMEMBERING.
    D

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  35. Anonymous11:52 am GMT

    IN reply to a question about how to go about asking for a Larabar bookmark, this is what you need to do: Forward a copy of your Amazon confirmation of the book order to bookmark@rozsavage.com and I will record your details. We are also looking into the possibility of making the bookmarks available to those who order from local bookstores, and will make further information available. Thank you for asking. Rita Savage.

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