Today was a long day at the oars, with a goal from my weatherman to reach a particular latitude in order to rendezvous with good winds tomorrow, but I was kept going by a particularly good audiobook – “Holy Cow!” by Sarah McDonald.
She is an Australia TV presenter, who spent two years in India when her boyfriend (later husband) was posted over there. She spent most of her time exploring the “spiritual supermarket”, as she describes India’s smorgasbord of religions.
I’d recommend the book, an entertaining yet thoughtful and thought-provoking account of her pilgrimages, retreats, encounters with gurus, celebrations of religious festivals and rites of passage.
It also got me thinking about my own version of spirituality. Although I am the daughter of not one, but two Methodist preachers, they both encouraged lively questioning and the use of intelligence in developing a belief system, rather than wholesale acceptance of any single “ism”. My father had little tolerance for “churchology”, in which people focused on the church or the preacher rather than the spiritual aspects. I hope I am not misrepresenting their views when I say they both believed there are many paths to the top of the mountain.
Of course, I had to rebel for a while during my teens and for about 20 years I didn’t even think about religion or spirituality. But it comes around again, especially once I started wondering what the point of my life might be. That search had a very direct bearing on my decision to start rowing across oceans.
But this is getting rather beyond the scope of a blog, and especially a blog after a long day rowing. It is way past my bedtime, my eyelids are drooping, my hands are sore and my backside wants some time off. But if this subject seems to be of interest – let me know in your comments – I can come back to it another time.
Wishing you a good night, and wishing myself sweet dreams of land, friends, family, and non-expedition food!
Hearing the audiobook narrated in an Aussie accent got me thinking about my friends back in Perth. A big hellooooo to you all, especially James and Jane, Steve and Ro, Margot, Sally, Clem, Geoff, Janet, James Lush, Brad Pettit, Danny and Bronwyn, Marian, Ben and Rachel, John, the UWA gang, and Rob, Nathalie and all the folks at Sea To Summit. I’m missing you and hope to see you again not too long after I’m done with this ocean – or it’s done with me!
Photo: a pic from the archives, taken by Jason Madara for the New York Times in 2007. Gives you an idea of what rowing at night looks like – but no photographer’s flash out here!
Christopher Senn, David Church. (Some sponsors pay for more than 1 mile; some miles at this stage are unsponsored – but plenty more scattered over future miles.)