I have happily stumbled into a crew of wild writers, sweet (and gritty) hearts, and alchemists this month when I accepted an invitation to join Jeffrey Davis’ Quest 2015 – a month long exploration of how to do “business as unusual” in 2015.
For a few days now on fb, I’ve been linking you to some fine blog posts, some well articulated musings by wonderful writers to answer questions we’ve been asked by cultural visionaries in the Quest. In sailing vernacular, these promps are like winds that determine the tacks we take when we are moved to change course.
We’re only in week one of the four-week journey, and my mind is officially blown. And I’ll continue to post great writes for your enjoyment when I read them throughout the month. It’s miserly not to share such good work.
But, really, after this first week, what I am musing about is this statement of Jeffrey’s: “It’s not DIY, it’s DIT.”
Do. It. Together.
And that made me realize we are all, all of us who do aspire to live extravagantly messy, creative, whole lives – who teach, inspire, and inquire -- are riding the same waves.
For me, the essence of DIT is that we can all row. I know about sailing and there are ALWAYS jobs to be done on a boat. Swabbing, mending sails, coiling lines, cooking, navigating, fixing the engine, scrubbing the hull. There’s a never-ending LIST of things that need to be done to keep it all afloat, to really catch the wind and fly.
In a small sloop, you can manage by yourself. I’ve done that kind of sailing. And there is so much fun it in, really. You duck into coves only you want to see. You get the feel of the tiller like it’s the beat of the boat’s heart. There is something grand about seeing the horizon alone and deciding you’re going to sail right into the wind. Or duck into harbor for the night.
This new ship we are all on, which I now formally christen “QUEST,” is far larger and needs many more hands to keep her cutting through our ocean. She can take on huge seas and winds. She has so much ballast that the chances of capsizing are minimal.
Best of all, there are so many talented people doing so many things so well that we do not have to be good at everything. If I want to be the person on the boat in charge of animal sightings, that can be my job. Someone else wants to cook. Someone wants to embroider the sails. Someone else can tie complex knots. There is room – and real need – for all hands on deck.
We are all united in one thing (I believe). And that is how to serve and love. Through whatever work or medium we are called to. The ship is big enough to carry longing, desire, questions, broken heartedness, whole heartedness, zeal and rest. It’s big enough to sail off the edge of the earth only to discover that we will not fall off, but fall in. Into a new sea never imagined.
We all know we’re sailing into some uncharted waters.
That is the fun part.
It can be a bit scary/thrilling to do this in a small sloop on a day sail. I can choose to ride the waves or sail into them. I can tack or set anchor. I can do anything I want on my own sloop. I don’t need much of a map. That’s the serendipity of the day sail.
But the Quest course is set: we’re heading right into the soul of mystery, and everyone is rowing in her or his own way. There is such huge ease in knowing you can sometimes let go of the oars when your arms get tired. And row harder sometimes when you feel true power, and let someone else take a snooze.
The whole point of this experiment, this quest, is to see what 2015 could look like. The ship will be docked on January 1, 2015. But where we’ll be by then is a mystery.
And because that is true, I know that wherever we finally dock will be someplace I have never been before. Maybe never imagined. Nothing excites me more than that. Nothing.
There is more room on the boat for more hands. There are still pilot boats bringing people onboard. I wish you’d join us (and bring your sloop, too, for those delicious moments when you need to pilot for yourself).
In some way, we’re all good pirates. We’re finding treasures.
All in the pure gold of the soul.