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Things we’ve learned

gca_arr52We sold our house in Bristol and came on this sailboat journey to discover some things about how we want to live in an uncertain future of unstable climate and dwindling natural resources. Here are some things we’ve found out:

1. Nature is indifferent to our discomfort, our schedules, our plans. We must adapt to it, not the other way around.

2. Knowing how to fix things is really important.

3. Travel makes you realise how priceless it is to walk into a room and be welcomed by friends.

4. On the sea, you rely on yourself and your boat and trust to a luck you can’t rely on.

5. Plants, trees and insects and soil are bloody brilliant and you miss them when you’ve been at sea.

6. The more time you spend on screens the less you have for 3D things. I prefer 3D things. They still exist when there’s no electricity.

7. If you can live in a 6msq space with someone for a year, you have a strong relationship.

8. It’s not hard to cut your own hair, do without new clothes, use less water and electricity, mend and fix your own belongings (well, engines can be hard).

9. It’s hard to feed yourself without relying on industrial food production. Especially when you live on a boat and have no lasting connection to any one place.

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10. How to fail, repeatedly, at things you were sure you could do (eg. live in Lexia, get to the Med, put out a short film every month, meet a ton of fascinating people to teach us survival skills) and deal with it, and appreciate ‘what is’ even as ‘what you wanted’ crumbles round your ears.

11. Sailing in fog is a good metaphor for trying to plan for the future. It’s really scary, but you might as well do it and try to enjoy it, because there you are.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Things we’ve learned

  1. Very wise words.

    Posted by El Champiero | August 6, 2013, 5:57 pm
  2. Good summary – we should all read & think. What comes next? What effects on Sam’s work as an artist? Has the process fed into art or swamped it? (I find that yoga really takes a back seat when I become involved with our boat; it’s in my mind but the sailing process swamps the practice.)

    Posted by shark1066 | August 7, 2013, 7:45 am
    • I don’t believe Sam’s ever thought of himself as an artist, but he’s definitely used the huge swathes of time to research and plan lots of things he and-or we could do when we return. He’s invented gadgets, sketched endless agroforestry plots, researched plants and trees, designed several iterations of a cheap sustainable self build house. As far as I’m concerned I find my head is constantly full of ideas, but more for things I could write than things to film. I’ve taken to using a pencil and notepad, and found that it changes the way I write and also has been quite hard to get back into but ultimately worthwhile. I used to write in a notebook all the time before the internet came along, and it’s funny- somehow it’s easier to be frank in the first draft when you don’t feel you’re typing ‘in public’ as it were. Also of course much less distracting. As far as the film, I’ve decided I’m definitely not the kind of filmmaker who churns out awesome episodes as she goes along, though I kind of told everyone I was going to be at the start of the project. I’ve rediscovered what I should have known from my first film- I’m a ponderous collector of footage and spinner of connections and ideas around it, probably for a couple more years yet, then a feature will emerge from it. Just glad I didn’t do any crowdfunding based on my original plans. 🙂

      Posted by naomisurvive | August 13, 2013, 11:48 am
      • Hi Naomi – only just found your reply since I am a very occasional user of WordPress – I have a blog space entitled the composer’s wife but I haven’t used it. I think I am also a bit inhibited about public writing – I favour the fountain pen and sketching. I guess I would like a triple locked web diary! Nice to see you the other day. I enjoy your writing – hope you keep up the blog in some form.

        Posted by shark1066 | October 11, 2014, 4:02 pm

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