Losing Your Mind

Sailing and Losing Your Mind

The wind had died and I was on my knees paddling my dinghy, bracing the tiller against my leg to keep the boat straight.  When a puff of wind rippled the water I adjusted the sail to catch it, but soon was back to paddling.

But whether slowly bumping and sliding, sail limp, or driven by a brisk wind, a sailor has to remain constantly focused on wind direction and speed, the path of other boats, wave action, shallow water, and distance to shore.  That’s one reason I love sailing.  I am completely engrossed from launch to landing and unable to think about much else.

My other favorite water sport, kayaking, has its own rhythm and flow on lakes, but doesn’t demand the same concentration.  (Rivers are another story!)  In fact, often I allow my mind to wander and not into productive areas.   I recall old frustrations, or try to puzzle through a perplexing problem.  I finish physically spent, but too often not emotionally refreshed.   When I sail, I arrive on shore exhilarated with hair standing up from being soaked and dried on the fly.   For a while I am lost to the world:  sailing is not that far from paradise.

Maybe this is “losing your mind” in a positive way.  Do you have a hobby, work project, or activity that demands your total attention?  Or said another way, that you focus your mind on and freely give yourself to?  What do you discover in that absolute concentration?   Next time I’ll tie in imagination and faith to this life-giving habit of mind.

4 thoughts on “Sailing and Losing Your Mind

  1. Writing for me too…sometimes! I wonder the difference between hard work and “flow.” I’m still working in the “flow,” but you’re right, it is a halcyon feeling.

  2. For me, it’s writing. Not always. Sometimes it’s work, hard work. But there are those halcyon instances when I start… and the next thing I know, it’s a couple hours later. No inner editor. No analysis. Just flow, as they say. Or, as you say, “lost to the world.” I like that.

  3. Love this, Lora! It makes me think about how busy my mind is and maybe that’s why I’m so tired all the time – I don’t “lose my mind” from time to time. I don’t sail (I can’t even swim), but I need to find something that leaves me refreshed. It used to be playing the piano or guitar, but I don’t have my guitar anymore and, sad to say, my fingers struggle with finding the keys more than they used to. I have, however, been thinking about getting back into camping. Thanks again, for this reminder!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s