Two things about modern cruise ships amaze me. One is that they are so gigantic! I just heard about one that carries something like 6500 guests plus around 2500 staff for a total of 9000 people on one ship! The interiors of some of these ships put the Titanic’s wood paneling and crystal to shame with their glitzy nightclubs, various opulent restaurants, multitudinous swimming pools and more! The second thing that amazes me about them is because the interiors resemble land-based spaces which people are so familiar with they are lulled into a false sense of safety. After all, what could happen to something so enormous?
During the four years that I was in the Navy on a top-heavy destroyer I had the misfortune to ride the waters in two hurricanes. The first one we rode with for six days across the Atlantic looking for a downed submarine. There is only so much that you can vomit before you eagerly wish for death! The second one was off Cape Hatteras, a notoriously turbulent area, in a storm which had winds over 100 miles per hour and waves of 70 feet! No joke… 70 feet tall! When you’re in the trough of a wave that size and look up all that you see is a seven-story building about to crash down on you! At one point I saw the wave coming and I grabbed onto some piping on the ceiling. When we were in the depths of the roll I was laying flat against the ceiling and looking into the base of that monster wave which was only six feet away! Again, death seemed like a desirable option!
We have all sorts of ways of fooling ourselves that everything is fine! We buy things to distract us from disturbing feelings. We go out every night to avoid ourselves in the quiet of our apartment. We veer around that one issue in our relationship which needs the clarity of a discussion. And then when our life hits an iceberg we are astonished that we did not see it coming! We don’t see it coming because we have taught ourselves to no longer see! The problem is while we can devise all sorts of ways avoiding what reality demands we face in the end and one way or another Reality always wins! You may resent the looming iceberg but IT is unimpressed by your resentment!
One thing that so impresses me about Hawaiian culture is their understanding that nature is not to be imposed upon but cooperated with! How much less chaos might there be in our lives were we to foster such an orientation within ourselves? The ultimate reality with which we must MUST become harmonized is the Divine. Our time on Earth is precisely to foster an orientation within ourselves of respectfulness, receptivity and cooperation so when we cross over into the next part of our life we might be ready for the task of helping those still on this side of the veil. Do you see any icebergs coming in your life? And if not… why not?