Saturday, March 3, 2012


TIME TO REEF.  Since almost all of my sailing experience has been in small boats on small bodies of water, I can't really call myself a sailor,  but I've been sailing in my imagination since I was a child.  Books and the good ship Imagine have allowed me to accompany solo sailors around the world, climb the rigging of a British Man-o-war, or take a leisurely cruise down the inland waterway from New Jersey to Georgia just by picking up a book.  I am not going to try to coerce you into sailing or even reading about sailing,  but I do want you to read and imagine.  Ever since Daniel Defoe put Robinson Crusoe on that island and Cervantes put Don Quixote on his horse, we have been able to have every sort of adventure that anyone has ever had or thought of.  Movies and television can also provide this of course, but in a different way.  Images on a screen  are limited to what someone has put there; images in our mind are limited only by our ability to imagine.  Like any other skill, imagining improves with practice, so exercise the muscles of your mind.  Read.  And imagine. Think up your own stories.  Maybe someday you will tell them to your own children as I did to mine.

I actually started this post with a different topic in mind, hence the title.  Reefing is the term used by sailors to describe reducing the amount of sail being used so that the ship won't be overwhelmed by increasing winds.  Sailors must be alert to changing weather conditions and recognize when reefing is necessary.  Experienced sailors tell new ones this, "If your are thinking about reefing, it's time to reef."  This sailor's axiom can be applied to any activity.  If you are questioning what you are doing in any situation, there is probably a reason for it and it is quite likely that the prudent course would be to slow things down.  Recovering alcoholics put the same thing another way.  We tell new people, "If you are thinking about whether you have a problem with alcohol, then you probably do."  Whatever you are doing, if somewhere in the back of your mind you are wondering if it might be a bad idea, it's time to stop and really think about it.  You are probably right.  It is probably a bad idea.

 GRAND Social link party


  1. Lots of sage advice packed into these two well written paragraphs!
    I will be forever grateful to my mother who took me and my two sisters on weekly trips to the downtown library. As a result, I scored high in classroom vocabulary quizzes. This was only one side benefit of the many adventures I participated in through the pages of books.
    I often tell my daughters now that instincts will guide you toward good decision making. In every occasion where I denied them, my choices always proved to be the wrong ones!

  2. You are very wise and such great advice to share. Hopefully they will listen to this wise advice and avoid a whole lot of problems and punishments! When in doubt -- don't do it!