As I was looking at the wiggly line on my GPS the other day, the line that represents my course, I started wondering what kind of a path it would create if you fixed some kind of a sensor to the top of my head and followed the track in 3 dimensions as I go about my normal onboard routine. The sensor would create a wiggly trail, showing where my head spends most of its time. Let’s call it a squigglometer.
The outer limits of the wiggle would be fairly small. My head rarely goes more than 3 feet into my sleeping cabin, as I sleep with my head towards the hatch and my feet down towards the stern.
Then there are the 7 or so feet of the deck – I move around quite a bit there, to all corners at some point in the day to open a locker, pump water out of a locker, cook meals, go to the bathroom etc, although most of the track would be in a back-and-forwards line above the rowing seat.
And a couple of times a week I might pay a visit to the forward cabin to retrieve some food or a piece of kit. But my head doesn’t go very far in – maybe 2 feet at most.
So overall, my head moves through a space roughly 12 feet long by 6 feet wide by 5 feet 4 inches high. I’ve never been in a prison cell, but I suspect that my domain on board is smaller.
It would be amazing if there was a kind of universal squigglometer, tracking everybody in the world as we go about our business. I suspect that about a hundred years ago, the wiggles would be mostly fairly small and local, like lots of tiny peppercorn curls on the surface of the Earth, as we walked or cycled to our place of work and home again, visiting a few friends or relatives, and the stores, but all within a pretty small radius of home.
Now it would probably be very different, or at least in the western world. People hopping on planes like they were buses. Long commutes. Foreign holidays. All kinds of hectic, crazy wiggles zigzagging across the planet as we whizz around in a frenzy of activity.
Maybe it’s a sign of getting older (all of 43!), but I’m starting to yearn for a less frenetic way of life. A bit less activity, and a bit more time to focus in on the important things. Despite its many shortcomings as a lifestyle, it is one of the things that I cherish on the ocean. A break from the whizzing. Life gets very simple.
So as I sign off for today, I will wish you the best. May your life be happy, and your wiggles be small!
Here’s our Roz Roams podcast, “Purple Prevailing”. Thanks Vic Phillipson!
Graham – thanks for your message. Please give your students a big ocean wave from me!
Betsy – great to hear from you! Hope all is well in your good green world.
Seadoo – I haven’t read “The Butterfly Effect” yet, but I completely get the concept. EVERYTHING is connected! That is why EVERYTHING we do matters.
Margaret Taylor, Curtis Zing, Shannon Fogg. James Borleis, Lance Mamiya