Day 15: Blue Mood in the Purple Palace

Sigh. Crew morale is low today in the Purple Palace (aka the sleeping cabin). Woody the Pirate has been doing his best to cheer me up with a few “Arrrr”s, and “Heave ho, me hearties!” but to little avail.

I seem to have got very stuck in an adverse current on this part of the ocean. The mileages for the last few days have been -6, -7 and -4.

But what has really got me down was the news that the young man who arranged my speaking engagement in San Diego last October has died suddenly. I only spent a couple of days in his company, but he was full of fun, charisma, intelligence, potential, and, well, life. I can’t believe what has happened. If I feel the loss this keenly on such a short acquaintance, I can’t begin to imagine how his girlfriend, family, and friends must be feeling. My deepest, heartfelt sympathies to them.

Not much news filters through to me out here on the ocean, so the little that does tends to make a much deeper impact. I try to believe that everything happens for a reason – after all, if it’s happened, time will eventually reveal the silver lining in the cloud – but sometimes the reason is nigh on impossible to fathom.

Sometimes you’ve just got to be sad, and know that everything has its season, if not its reason. This, too, shall pass.

Photo: trying to find the silver lining in the cloud (taken a week ago)

Sponsored Miles:

Our thanks go to Karin Oswald, Anke Altermann, Rien Scheffer, Ferid Ekmekcioglu, Gail Brownell, Liliana Domenech. Just a reminder that these represent miles that Roz has put effort into rowing, not always progress towards her goal.

  • Pippa

    That’s sad Roz, I’m sorry to hear you’re news. Nobody should die young.
    You chose a beautiful photo to show us. 

  • Richard in DFW

    Sweetness, So sorry to hear of your friend’s passing… “But what has really got me down was the news that the young man who
    arranged my speaking engagement in San Diego last October has died
    suddenly. I only spent a couple of days in his company, but he was full
    of fun, charisma, intelligence, potential, and, well, life. I can’t
    believe what has happened. If I feel the loss this keenly on such a
    short acquaintance, I can’t begin to imagine how his girlfriend, family
    and friends must be feeling. My deepest, heartfelt sympathies to them.”

    Roz & Rozlings forgive me – The Tuesdays With Morrie in me – but I must relate a first-hand story… I ended up in a month-long coma in 2008 – I remember it verbatim, having quoted those around me at the time… INCLUDING the near-death visions of the three times I died over the first 4 hours in the coma. Some of the Coma (and near-death) memories were amazing – and truly unexplainable, some were VERY funny, some were frightening… (Hence the movie interest in my life capped by these events – leading to my Bucket List Environment biz – which “Came To Me” in the coma too.)

    BUT, I have to tell everyone, There should be No Fear of dying when Our time comes – There is no pain, No worry, Nothing unpleasant about it at all – and I was gone for almost one-hour one of my times… (So forget the “Medical, Scientific, Electrical” mumbo-jumbo explanations (Or should I say Mumbai-Jumbo Explanations?) – there were none in my case, I was GONE (They even stuck me in another room thinking I was gone) – and have been referred to as “The Miracle Patient” since as a result.) So “Death” is not what people thinks and worry about. To The Contrary, and I know I am about to explain this poorly… There was NOTHING but a sense of being loved by everyone I had ever known – those I left behind, and those who preceded me in death… THAT was wonderful, and don’t hate me, I miss that on “This Side”…

    And before you all say, Oh there goes Richard, some religious kook! Nothing could be further from the truth… Spiritual, Yes; One All Powerful Entity, One God – Even a few All Powerful Ones, and I quickly slip into Agnosticism… So Roz, Your friend is in a place of no pain, worry or frustration, (and as one of my friends who preceded me in death told me as we visited in The After-Life Cafe, she was doing here best work ever – so he is too) and he knows that You – and everyone he ever knew (family and girlfriend) – Loves him… Is that such a horrible place???

    Roz, So Be THANKFUL that you left your friend with the knowledge that you, “…feel the loss this keenly on such a
    short acquaintance…” No Greater Gift for him to have now – If you ask me, from my experience…

    Laughter is very healing, So a little morning chuckle might help – I hope… “What do you get when you cross an Agnostic with a Dyslexic? Someone who questions the existence of Dog!”

    Roz, You are with him now, As he is with you… Don’t be too Blue – He isn’t… Your friend is now another important cause for you – He is proud of what you are doing, we Rozlings are too on “This Side”… There will still be bad days On This Side, But there will be more good than bad… Remember Klinger in MASH who thought his worst day was when he got a Dear John letter from his wife, and Col. Potter said, “Nonsense Boy, You are going to have MUCH worse days than this!” Klinger felt better, You will too – as your friend begins now to nudge you forward through the difficult currents on This Side until you get to the wonderful and easy ones on the other…

  • Richard in DFW

     @9ded466cb37f14648c547bf3da0e14bf:disqus Aww Sweet Pippa, Thank You for reminding me of an important P.S. to my note above… Trust me, After 38 years of Cancer, and the “Nuisance Routine” of 400+ surgeries to keep in in check over those years, Taking care of both parents as they lingered in pain at the end, I can assure you, There are MUCH worse things than going too soon and too quickly – doing what we love…

  • Richard in DFW

    Roz, Now back to your “Current” problems… Stupid comparison, But having grown-up on the water, I am going to use it – Rip Tides/Currents… You cannot Swim/Paddle straight through them – No One Can… Let them carry you with them, and adjust your angle of attack to move through them at a very slight angle… Yes you will be carried way off course… But, Once through a Rip Tide/Current, You can get back to where you need to be MUCH more quickly than (3 Days of VERY DEPRESSING Negative Mileage in your case) going nowhere in the meantime… Turn into them at NO MORE than 30 degrees (20 will be better). Once through them, Paddle back to where you want/need to be with great ease…

  • Karenmorss

    Good advice and words of wisdom from Richard. And somedays it’s ok to just be sad. But you know the sun will come out tomorrow! The picture is beautiful and life affirming. Just like you! Go Roz!

  • Tanya Savage2

    Sending you a big hug. And recommendation for a dose of Abba once you’ve gone through being sad. Do you keep any foodie treats for down days? 

  • Richard in DFW

     P.P.S. Roz, Remember the “Magical Memory Box” – Fill yours with the wonderful memories – Laughs, Smiles, Conversations, Inspirations – you and your friend shared… Open the box and scan those great times when you are “Blue”… But that magic box has no space for any sad memories with him – so those will soon pass have no place to be stored…

    Roz was feeling quite Blue
    We all understood why this was true
    From Above, Her friend said, “What the heck?”
    I’m with her now permanently “On Deck”
    She and I will always be one Crew

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graham-Dickie/1361628986 Graham Dickie

    As captain of the bath tub, I can offer no advice nautical. As master of shipwrecks, I offer no wisdom about life. But I can say that I love what you are doing, and that it matters to me that you are doing it. Thoughts turn to your odyssey, your struggles, joys and passion every day. Every day. And when I return to my small rural school, the children will be following your journey, and not just your progress. You teach us all about life. And we love you for your courage to doing so. And we just love you anyway.

  • Texino

    Roz, you are the bravest person I know, and I feel badly about your friend. Perhaps you recall this quote from Mencken: “. . .We cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking it’s chops”(from “The Wave”)

    Row

  • OutsideJay

    Sorrow, like oceans, comes in waves…

    Oh Roz, you are beautful.

    May our collective tears find you and help steady you whether in serenity or in storm.

  • Richard in DFW

     How often do you get updates of the Current movements and directions? Someone posted a link here the other day that had them (almost) in real time… If you have access to those, then you might be able to adjust your headings accordingly – maintaining a 20 – 30 Degree angle-of-attack to them as they move…

  • Rico

    “Sometimes you’ve just got to be sad ….”

    Agree completely.  My prayers go out to your friend (in heaven) and to his loved ones and family (on earth).  It’s perfectly fine, and even necessary, to spend time remembering him, and what he was able to do during his sadly too-few days.  Spend some time looking at the sea, eat a few extra pieces of chocolate, and appreciate the magical gift of life.  It’s something (appreciate life) we all should be doing on a daily basis, because you just never know what plans the universe has for us.

  • Seadoo4

    Roz, you should check out the book “The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews. It’s a quick read and I think you would find it enthralling given your recent read of “The Power of One”. In case you are unfamiliar with the butterfly effect (as I was), it is the idea that something as seemingly insignificant as the flap of a butterfly’s wings could set in motion a hurricane! Don’t give up! Everything you do matters…

  • http://jimbell.id.au JimBellofBelmont

     Sad is important too. It makes happy all the sweeter. Condolences to you, as well as friends and family on his passing. Jim Bell (NSW Australia)

  • Richard in DFW

     @90b646cf9b8370dd88668f4b8fa563e0:disqus When you are done with your hug, Then it is My turn… Hey, How ’bout we see how many hugs Roslings can send here?

  • Richard in DFW

     @90b646cf9b8370dd88668f4b8fa563e0:disqus When you are done with your hugs, It is my turn. Hey, Let’s see how many Rozling Hugs we can send here…

  • Mariya Kai

    I’ve seen Woody cry before, so no worries, even pirates cry too.  I’d say Woody’s a good snuggler if you feel like snuggling, but honestly, he means well, but he just doesn’t soften up that much, maybe it’s his plasticness, maybe it’s the wooden leg, most likely it’s a combination of both.  Love you Roz.  Thoughts and prayers to friends and family in San Diego.  Much aloha, light & good ocean currents in the right direction*

  • Phil at Scripps

    Hi Roz,
    I came to find your contact information to be sure that you knew of Tim’s passing. I am a close friend of his and I know that your words, both spoken and written, had a huge impact on his life (mine as well, for that matter–I was at your talk that Tim arranged).  Tim was inspired by your work and had begun plans for swimming the California coast, English and Maui Channels, among other crossings, with the purpose of using the publicity to speak about the environment. I am touched to see that you’ve already heard about him. It would, I believe, mean a tremendous amount to his family, girlfriend, and all of us here in SD if you posted in his tribute page at http://sio.ucsd.edu/Announcements/Timothy_Ray/. The information is on that page for contributing to his memories. Thank you very much for your efforts and the impact that you’ve had on us at Scripps through your own work and through Tim. Safe travels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Betsy-Rosenberg/657549501 Betsy Rosenberg

     Roz, my heart goes out to you and your San diego Friend’s family, so sorry to hear of this as anyone who appreciates you and your story is a brilliant gem – just for starters! On a more upbeat note, I was just singing your praises on my program today in an interview with Wendy Benchley – wife of the late Peter Benchley of ‘Jaws’ fame. They are having their 4th Annual Oceans Awards ceremony in DC this Saturday (still a few tickets left:) and I nominated you for next year when you are land bound – she was in total agreement, and mutual awe. Row on Roz, row on…
    In safety, peace and progress.  XO Betsy

  • Eric

    Hi Roz,

    That’s awful news and I’m sorry to hear about it. Life, though wonderful and beautiful, can be terribly unfair. :( But rowing can help you work through it. And there’s no way to reliably measure just when the ocean will relent. So don’t let the fear that it might not slow you down.

  • alan gamble

    You must have heard by now about being awarded the Ocean Inspiration award..

  • Richard in DFW

     Today Queen of The Oceans! Its difficult to fathom what this woman could do next… This has been amazing already!

  • Richard in DFW

     Roz, Thinking that your ability to pick-up that link may be limited time-wise/battery-wise/SatTel cost-wise, here is where you send Tim’s Tribute note – scrippsnews@ucsd.edu

  • Anonymous

    Joining the huge group hug with Tanya, Richard and all Rozlings.
    ( ( ( O ) ) )  Look! BIG HUGS ARE LIKE RIPPLES, ROZ  ( ( ( O ) ) )

  • brad in Scappoose, OR

    Roz…another hug for you this day… thank you for sharing both your personal and rowing travails…know that in our words our hearts reach out and our communal presence rides with you this day, and every day… however, know that your friend now may be riding and rowing with you in new way–oh so much closer than you think… as you listen do not be surprised if he whispers consoling words to you…and maybe even joins Sedna to ease the rowing doldrums you find yourself in…as you quiet your sadness, listen for his whispers and don’t be surprised if you feel his calming presence fill your heart with tears of consolation…even bringing a peaceful smile to your face and heart.

    Know that as you continue to wear your heart on your sleeve before us, we collectively offer a calming massage and embrace…know we are there with you and rowing with you even during difficult strokes and times…

  • Anonymous

    Roz, while at the coffee shop using the wifi because the one I use failed this evening, I had a fun encounter with an officer on the Sacramento Police Force. Long story short, after I asked if she was keeping the peace and we exchanged pleasantries, I inquired if she works with kids or has kids of her own … yes and yes! Just the right age to enjoy your adventure, so I told here what you are up to and gave her your urls. I look forward to you meeting her and her daughter here or on facebook soon.  Oh FYI, I was quite sedate and minded my Ps and Qs … She is a very nice cop ;-D

    Hope today is going well for you ❤

    Row rambunctiously, Roz

  • Desk Bound Pom

    Roz. Big hug from desk bound Pom.
    Something that I have learned in my own personal life during the last 50 years that no matter how bad things can be at times always try and find a glimmer of hope.  
    XOX

  • Cape of Storms

     Hey Roz,
    Sad to hear of your loss… always a frightening dose of not quite reality, but certainly something sobering when death happens near us.  
    I’m also pretty sure you’re down after “The Power of One”!  Hang in there… looking forward to hearing what you’re reading next.  
    Cheers,
    Susan.

  • Julianhapel

    Hey Roz, Don’t mourne death, celebrate life. 

  • Tanya Savage2

    Hmm, this Purple Palace thing, all sounds very Prince. Please don’t come back from sea as a squiggle or decide that “Roz” should be pronounced “Freeuur” or whatever it was. 

  • Balaji

    Roz, You are one for a generation kind of person. I am just waiting to see you in mumbai india 

  • Anonymous

    It takes me a while to put scattered thoughts together. Roz once asked me why I do haiku … Can’t remember my exact response, but it does help consolidate many thoughts simply and … well … vaguely. This morning I woke thinking of Roz in limerick … haiku to follow …

    There is a lass who’s made lots of friends
    While rowing oceans, trials she transcends
    She cares for her Rozlings
    We’re Rozlings united
    Shared from our hearts, on love we depend

    Pulling together with you, Roz!

  • Anonymous

    Especially inspired by Texino:

    haiku or voodoo
    surpassing limits for Roz
    transcending my mind

    Transcend rowing, Roz!

  • Richard in DFW

    That Is Great!!! She will come back as the Ocean Rower formerly known as Roz… Now to be known as Wemaywantatow. (Read it folks – This was the name of a sailor I used to sail with in New England – but fits here too.)

  • Carol Ray Mykins

    I am Tim’s Aunt Carol – his father is my brother.  I am inspired beyond words with the comments that have been written about my nephew.  We are a small family and knowing the outpour of love from those who knew Tim has been so helpful.  Our pride in Tim goes without saying, he was put on this earth for a purpose and it’s sad that his work will not be done. We’ll never understand why he was taken from us at such a young age.  I personally will remember Tim as the tiny baby, the little boy and the teen and the young man who always amazed us with his determination.  Thank you all for acknowledging his presence in this world.  I am sure he is making his presence know in the next.  In my mind he is running, swimming and teaching the wisest of wise.  Listen to what he has said, live it as he had wished and we will all have a better world.

  • Richard in DFW

     @5703e499233242c549897552fcb480a3:disqus My thoughts are with you and yours at this moment… As I said in Tim’s tribute, I never had the honor of meeting Tim… BUT, Obviously his presence has inspired countless people in this world… So, I am NOT AT ALL SURE that, “…his work will not be done.” My guess is that someone he inspired will now run with his work – for Tim, for them, and for the planet… I hope, when you have time – and the urge, that you and those on Tim’s Team & Crew have time to look over the comments here – dated from the day Roz and her “Rozlings” here heard of Tim’s passing… We all tried to console and inspire Roz through the news, as I am sure Tim would have… And in these Blogs you may find some good stuff for the “Magical Memory Box” mentioned here several times – It has enough space to store an infinite amount of happy and inspirational memories of Tim – and no space at all for those that hurt us, and would hurt Tim… The “Box” can be opened, and the contents scanned whenever we feel “Blue” for the boost we need at those times…

  • Brianne Moskovitz

     Roz,
    I’m glad to hear that Tim made an impact on your life as well.  I was a student with Tim and a good friend of his, and knew how excited he was to have you come to the aquarium to share your adventures and message.  I myself learned a lot from your talk.  I know Tim touched many people in a variety of ways.  I have already heard many friends discuss ways their life will change (environmentally) because of Tim.  I hope the silver lining is that his legacy will live on.
    Row on!
    Brianne