Ulysses and Kevin

A recent email from a guy called Kevin made me cry and smile all at once. Recently widowed, he is about to embark on his own big adventure. He shared an entry he had written on his daughter’s blog as she prepares to row the Pacific from USA to Australia.

It is a great call to arms to be like Ulysses and chase the sunsets until our time is up, in spite of fear, of pain, of unknowns, of things telling you not to. It is never too late.

Go well my friend, make it happen.

Sarah x

 ‘I’ve just been reading Sarah Outen’s blog from 25th June when she finally felt able to articulate the spectacular end of her voyage.

What really disturbed me was that I found that I was envying her! It made me realise what a sheltered and secure life I have led and what an enormous amount of adventure there is to be had if you just step out in faith and give it a bash. Unquestionably, I’d rather die doing something that I love, while living life to the full, than live to a great age in “safety” and then discover—too late—that I have never lived at all.

I am reminded of Tennyson’s “Ulysses”. It’s too long to quote here in its entirety, but there is a wonderful coda to his thoughts. It is an inspiration to the aged Kevin to realise that it’s still not to late so set out upon one last adventure of a lifetime:

“’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

  Push off, and sitting well in order smite

  The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

  To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

  Of all the western stars, until I die.

  Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

  We are not now that strength which in old days

  Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

  One equal temper of heroic hearts,

  Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

  To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”.

I pray, when my time comes to go to the “Happy Isles”, that they have to tie me down in my coffin to prevent me from wandering about.

 Here’s a midnight toast to all adventurers, and especially to you, Brigid; go and  pursue your big adventure! I know your Mommy’s smiling, and so am I.

 I love you.

Dad.’

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    3 Responses to Ulysses and Kevin

    1. Ray Girard says:

      We must all fight the “fear of living”. The best way to do that is by living to our own standards.

    2. Sue says:

      Thank you both.Sarah, I’ve been following your travels since you spoke at the RSPB conference in York. I’m in my last week of a 12 week hospital program for anorexia and severe depression. I have found your travels inspiring and was so gutted when your travels were blighted by that storm. This post really spoke to me, i shall print it off and put it on my fridge door. You’re both amazing and i wish you both love and light.

    3. Robert Douglas (Gamebook Writer) says:

      I remember reading a novel by Bernard Cornwell. ‘Sea-Lord’ is about a modern-day, young aristocrat who hardly ever steps on-shore, escaping the chaos of life and be alone, just sailing his yacht on the oceans of the world. Think I can understand a character like that.

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