The only thing worse than the constant damp bone chilling cold is the insult of being able to see the sun without actually feeling it’s warmth. At 22 degrees with a 40 mile an hour wind that makes a negative 20 windchill and I’m not sorry to be happy to say sianara to you winter, you miserable fucking hell! I’ve been given a reprieve.
It’s been so cold in the boat that it actually hurts. My skin hurts, my body hurts, my mind would hurt and it will if it ever defrosts. I’ve been like the stay puff marshmallow man wearing every bit of clothing I have with every blanket and both my down sleeping bags and still haven’t been able to stop shivering for one single second. All that extra body fat and I can assure you it’s ample, has done nothing to cure the cold.
The wind has been pile driving out of the north east, funneling through the small cracks in my companion way floppy doors and there has been nothing I could do to keep the free and constant air conditioning at bay. Now it’s so calm it’s erie and up to a warm and toasty 31 degrees but that’s not what’s keeping me warm, nor is it my trusty and useless heater. Today I was given word that everything is about to change and again the suggestion that I split to the South Pacific for a few weeks and that’s just what I’m going to do.
Have you worked for a company that actually gives you everything you want without asking and then with no hinting or hollering up and says hey, bro… the islands are calling your name, take off and go surfing for a bit, get tan, have a few drinks and we’ll have this whole place revamped for you when you get back. They also offered me a house to live in, I shit you not, my own little studio right on the water overlooking the bay and Sookie.
And here lies my dilemma, fist of all I don’t deserve the rockstar treatment I’m getting and second of all I have to be very careful not to fall into the abyse of comefort and complacency. I don’t want to be comefortable in life, I don’t want it to be easy and I don’t want security, that’s what has people dying alone of old age. One wrong step and I’ll be sitting back in my big leather chair in an office that is never half a degree too warm or too cold.
I’ll spend my life saying someday as I stare complacently out the window waiting for the right time which will never come because there never is a right time. I’ll grow fat with mortgages and credit card debt to pay for my car that never gets driven over 5mph in bumper to bumper traffic and only transports me from the Job that steals my youth to pay for the house that holds me financially improsioned but never gets used for anything other than sleep. Every year I’ll swear to myself that I’m almost ready and that for sure next year will be my year but next year will turn into decades and before I know it I’ll be too old, too soft, too lazy too…
Yeah fuck you winter, you can’t break me and nothing will send me back the hell on earth I lived, that so called financial security. I fought hard the gain my independent freedom to roam, to learn to live with almost nothing and to love it. To wake to a day that I own and to do what I want, when I want for absolutely no reason on earth other than because it’s my choice. Choice is a freedom worth fighting for at any cost…
One of the most frequently heard comments? concerning my boat is that it is not comfortable. It is a very true statement. But I design and build boats and go to sea in them not for comfort but because I am curios and the activity gives me pleasure and excitement.
Comfort diminishes activity; lack of activity leads to lack of stimulation, without stimulation you become bored, fat and tired. You get energetic only by using energy, not by resting.
Eating and entertainment work like drugs or borrowed money, they lessens the boredom ordeal momentarily. In the long run they make the situation worse.
Strive on the other hand is painful at first, but as time passes will bring curiosity pleasure and excitement. The problem with that healthy solution is that it is to abstract for most people. Historically man has never had to worry about to much comfort and is therefore not designed to deal with it. On the contrary lack of food and rest has been the problem.
Modern society has changed that. Industrial and farm factories are now producing more than we need. Few free spirits has survived a new species of man has been breed, the obedient man. He eats not real food but ersatz food. His experiences are ersatz screen experiences.
It is so much easier to watch sport than to compete yourself. It is so much easier to do ersatz sailing and to start the engine when the wind fails than to use an oar or wait for wind. But like all ersatz things there is no thing like the real thing.
A captured animal in a zoo is not a happy animal. He tells us that without talking, still he gets plenty of food and good shelter and his life is without danger. Still he would rather bee free.
Modern man in the big cities are like captured animals. We have all the comfort and food we need, still we are bored. But because we live among millions of equally bored people we do not notice the gloom. Only occasionally do we meet a surviving free spirit and wonder why he is so happy. It is not comfort which makes me happy.
written by Sven Yrvind