Today I went back to listening to Life, the Keith Richards autobiography. It seemed hypocritical of me to criticise his book for moving too slowly, when I am struggling to make two knots. And today I was much more in the mood for it. On an otherwise undistinguished day (I am still languishing in that meteorological no-man’s land of negligible winds) the book passed the time well, and even inspired a little musing on the nature of spirituality.

The following is purely my view. You’re free to agree, or disagree, or not to care. But I offer it up in the hope that it might make you think about your own definition of what is spiritual.

Spirituality, for me, is the recognition of that shared living spark that resides in every living thing. Scientists haven’t yet managed to explain what makes us alive, or in what part of our anatomy our “aliveness” resides, and yet it is there, connecting us with everything else that is alive.

If you’re alive, then you’re spiritual, whether you acknowledge it or not. You have life, therefore you have spirit. What else animates you, prevents you from being just a lump of skin and bone? It is your spirit.

When we say someone “has spirit”, what we really mean is that their spirit shines brighter than the average. Often this equates to them having a purpose, which endows them with energy and drive, and we unwittingly respond to this on a spiritual level. It isn’t something we see or hear or feel – we just sense it and are drawn to it.

Looking up at the stars tonight, it occurs to me that this is why we call some people “stars” – of music, or acting, or whatever. There are billions of stars in the sky, but some of them shine brighter than others. Human stars are like that. Their spirits shine brighter, illuminating more planets and visible from further away than the rest. They touch more lives.

To be spiritual involves feeding your spirit, shining brighter, touching more lives. You don’t have to focus on touching more lives as an end in itself – it just happens as a by-product of your spiritual growth. A star doesn’t have to try and shine brighter in the night sky. It just does.

To be a human star, you feed your spirit by finding a purpose, and having the courage to pursue it. As Viktor Frankl says, purposes vary from human to human, and from moment to moment. For Laurey and Rochelle (members of this blog’s community and now also friends of mine) it might be their respective battles with cancer. For Timothy Ray it might have been his passion for ocean science. For Richard in DFW it might be the sharing of his life story through a film.

And for Keith Richards it is his music. Hmmm, who would have thought that a raddled old rock star would inspire such contemplations?!

Other Stuff:

Does anybody know why the narration of “Life” suddenly switches from Johnny Depp to somebody else at the start of Chapter 5? Did he quit? Or have to depart to be a pirate of the Caribbean? Or did he just get tired of mis-pronouncing English place names?! (Sorry, that was a cheap shot. It’s just plain rude to make fun of Americans for getting the pronunciation wrong, when in fact their versions are much more rational than the strange but time-honoured pronunciations that Brits use.)

As aforementioned, the pursuit of more favourable winds continues. But they continue to elude me. Looks like tomorrow will be another day of chasing, but I’m not too concerned. Progress may be slow, but conditions are comfortable and life aboard the Purplest Boat in the World continues in an entirely satisfactory manner.

Photo: the flip-side of yesterday’s dawn rainbow – what was going on in the east while the rainbow adorned the west

Sponsored Miles: Joe Dominguez. Michael Dunn, Martin Hawke – and some unsponsored.


  • Everyday, I learn something new here, or because you challenge me to ponder “outside the box” so to speak … I meant it when I introduced you as a “philosopher, a sociologist, a psychologist, an avid reader, an author and an entertainer.” You are my shining star.

  • Good Morning From DFW Sweet Roz, @Rita:disqus , June and all the Rozlings… Roz, In just a few words you touched on so much, “For Laurey and Rochelle (members of this blog’s community and now also
    friends of mine) it might be their respective battles with cancer. For
    Timothy Ray it might have been his passion for ocean science. For
    Richard in DFW it might be the sharing of his life story through a film.” My life story to be shared is how, Like Tim, the love of “Ocean Science”, all of it, spurred-on my Bucket List project that came to me literally in the coma. BUT, Like @Laurey:disqus and @Rochelle:disqus having “Battled” Cancer for 38 years now, I can see “Gifts” that the “Battle” has shared with me along the way… That will be the underlying theme of the film – and like Morrie, in Tuesdays With Morrie, things are only as bad as we allow our perspective to see them… If that makes sense? I HAVE had tough times – WE ALL HAVE, MOST much worse than I have experienced, But I have had an amazing life too – I choose to see that before all the rest… Laurey and Rochelle – My thoughts and prayers are with you. Don’t lose your sense of humor, scan your “Magic Memory Box”, which holds all of your great memories, with no space for the rest, in really bad days… That will give you the boost that you need to win the battle, and “See” the “Gift” of the battle along the way. Promise!

      • Aww Sweet @9ded466cb37f14648c547bf3da0e14bf:disqus Thank You! With Genetic Cancers like mine, there is no real “Recovery”, just the ongoing weekly to monthly surgical “Nuisance Routine” as I have always called it, to keep it in check… No Worries… I have a few days a month where I would prefer to be doing something else other than being under the knife, or recovering from it, and 20+ days a month that are great… How can anyone complain about that ratio? Most have it MUCH worse than that?

  • Roz, Any later word on our Indian Ocean “Nessie”? Just wondering, Based on your “Large” description, and that “It” is not getting too close… Could it be a Pod of fish – which could look like one large fish at a distance, swimming in unison, feeding in your wake/awash which stirs-up all sorts of yummy stuff for them?

  • Nessie Was Still In The Distance
    Despite Roz’ Invitational Persistence
    Will It Someday Say Hello
    Or Simply Nudge Her From Below
    In Its Friendly Show Of Resistance

  • “Love is not eyes staring into each other, but eyes looking in the same direction.” -Saint-Expurey

    Good luck Roz

  • This (your ponderings) is one of the many reasons I read your blog, Roz & when I’m not so sleepy, from a hard day at the office, I’ll add my two cents worth.
    The good thing about an ‘undistinguished day ‘, as you called it, is that tomorrow is another day & another few miles towards your goal. Keep it up & enjoy that beautiful sky.

  • Not prepared to ponder and respond seriously at the moment, here’s a little word-play just for a-muze-ment:

    You can’t judge a book by its cover
    Or words on a page that do smother
    Pause … immersed in brain strife …
    Coming back to real life
    Thinking “What was I thinking? Oh, brother!

    Row thoughtfully, Roz!

  • This was a good blog. It will take me a while to think about it and look at it from its many different angles. Thank you. 

  • Looks like a month at sea has been good to you, You’ve the energy to post a good long blog. As someone whose “spirit” always has allowed him to march to the beat of a different drummer I love to hear from others with a similar bent. Lets just hope some of the “sheep” catch a hint of our beat. Rrrrr Roz.
    Jim Bell (NSW Australia)

  • Leicester Square:

    “Is it “Like-Ester” and “Lie-Chester” Square”
    “No, No, No, It Is “Lester” Square You Dolt With No Flair”
    “O.K, O.K, Then, How Do You Say”
    “Loch, You Know, Like A Bay”
    Roz Could Only Respond With A Glassy-Eyed Stare

  • Greetings Roz and Happy Rowing!
    Joe Hurley is the other fellow who narrates “Life”. He is also a singer and voice-over artist. Publishers Weekly says that both voices lend a “textured narration” and blah blah blah, but I’m sure you are more correct about the Pirate movie thing because there are at least 27 of those films by now and that must take some time to do.I don’t generally envy all that hard work you do,(admirable though it is) but today I would have traded places with you because our dog got sprayed by a skunk and we live in a very small space; a truck (lorry to you Brits).
    I hope the smell doesn’t get to you from here! =)

  • Outside Jay said: Great people inspire great actions (via Mark Twain). Epiphany: Greatness is already in each of us. We just need to peel away the layers that get in the way of this realization. 

    From the moment I discovered Roz, I’ve seen what can be done and what I am capable of. I’m thankful for that. 

  • Seems to me that what you, Roz, call “spirit” is what makes us human and separates us from the other animals. It covers concepts such as self-awareness and moral certitudes.

  • Thanks Bruce, Mark Twain said “Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great”.  I like the quote for it’s poetic command. Too and Two are phonetically synonyms. The placement of the comma is important, also. And if exchanged, imho, the reflection of spirituality and inspiration are brought to simplistic fruition.  The rest is my personal “dither” and is not addressed to Bruce or for that matter, anybody in particular. Here is where the above ties in with Roz’s current statements and something that we had talked about enroute to one of her events when Roz was in the Bay Area last September.  In today’s blog, Roz equates spirituality with light (from stars). I believe that spirituality and inspiration are closely knit. Both are attractive qualities in pivotal moments whether global or individual. Another similarity is the gravitational pull and inertia of stars (or any heavenly body). How much of light is a reflection of what you want to see of yourself and how much of it is pure radiation and you are merely the recipient? Furthermore, how active did you place yourself in a position to recieve the most light? Or the opposite… how much did you hide? Can light be bounced and how effeciently? Can it be bent, stored, compressed and or decompressed? What percentage of the original light will you continue to see from how far? If light initiates other light, does the original spark still have to be present? And how important is this all to understand?
    Now replace the words in the above questions. The word light is easy to use because it is physical and can also be seen if only mentally. Replace the word light with the word spirituality or inspiration.

    How does one ultimately justify his or her own position and stance?

    Somewhere there, in the middle, rows an ocean rower, beaming, shining…

    Just sayin… 

    Ultimately, the true question is … How much can we blame Rolling Stones for any or all of this :?Row Roz Row!

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