14 years ago today I was surfing a hurricane swell. Sunny perfect head high waves were as good as it gets for this area. I caught a great wave rode it got a tube ride in fact then for some reason still beyond me I came in and said it was time to go home. Something didn’t feel right to me.
A couple of days earlier I was on a call from the United States to Costa Rica that went something like this at the tail end of the call:
T: “Hey man really how are you?”
S: “I am happy. If I had known it was going to be like this I would have done this years ago.”
T: “ That is great to hear. I’ll see you in a couple of days.”
S: “Yea man.”
T: “ This is going to be incredible.”
S: “Yes it is.”
T: “See ya!”
Then a day later I received a call which caused everything to come to an abrupt end.
This process had started a long time ago (a decade?) in a land far away when I asked some men very close to me one thing:
Q: What object is it that you truly desire?
Not in an existential aspect but something that you really truly wanted from a material standpoint that you believe would otherwise be unobtainable?
This in an of itself is an interesting thought exercise as most are taught not to want or desire the carnal or material aspects of life.
This one man named Steven Swenson (aka Sven) responded, “ I want a custom made Beneteau 48 foot sloop to sail around the world with my family.
We all had an object of desire that we filed away in the area of what I call “The-Is-To-Be”.
I told Sven that one day he would have his boat and sail around the world. In addition to the boat purchase that was eventually named “Trinity” we were going write author book called “From The Valley To The Sea.” We promised each other that if anyone one of us walked in and said “hey its time to get that “Object Of Desire” he/they would push back from their computer(s) and go without hesitation. We also said that if this was too much to ask they could easily bow out of the tribe.
In the spirit of this pact I enacted the process one day. I will never forget as I prepared myself most of the day before going into Sven’s office. I walked into his office and said “Hey you ready for that boat?” He immediately shut down his silver G4, pushed back his chair and without hesitation or questioning gave an emphatic “ sure lets go!” If memory serves correct he was out of his office before I could get to the door or respond to this actions.
That type of dedication, loyalty and trust between men hardly exist in today’s society or we are told that it shouldn’t exist. I am reminded of the adage “Being a good man doesn’t always mean being good.” Respect at this level is earned and once it is earned it appears to last forever.
Our lives are becoming ever more transient, and these types of engagements are fleeting if they exist at all. Deep dedication to a higher calling is unheard of in today’s society. Even our relationships in all of thier aspects are becoming seemingly nothing more than pithy toilet paper page views.
This is especially in the area of relationships between men.
This event as are many with my comrade are crystallized in time. I refuse to let them go as Roy Batty says in Bladerunner “Lost in time like tears in the rain.” Nor am I being a martyr wallowing in self pity (in fact quite the opposite) nor am I creating a “better someone in death” scenario.
Indulge in the now, push back when the time comes, engage deeply in your relationships with those that truly matter and respond in like kind.
Sven had told me that its astounding, transcendent and humbling being at the helm of his boat in the middle of the night, in the middle of the pacific looking at the sea, sky and the stars.
I hope that he found his C-Beams glittering forever upon the sea.
Also remember it is an honor to say goodbye to someone. No matter how seemingly trite mean it when you say “Goodbye”.
As always with much Love to his wife, and two sons.
“Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic”
Rest In Power, Sven.