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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


 Contemplation was an important part of the philosophy of Plato and that through it the soul would ascend to knowledge. My idea of contemplation is more connected to meditation or self-reflection. I find that kayaking can for extended periods, put you in a relaxed state of personal blissfulness. Something that more or less transcends the actual mechanical status of motion and propulsion, though these may be useful or perhaps essential to getting to that stage where you seem to not notice you are on the water at all but just somewhere peaceful. Long paddles I find will do that or paddles where the environment is so conducive to distraction that a slide into blissfulness is made that much easier and the deepness of ones thoughts are focused and maintained but in a soothing and calm way and you can sometimes paddle this way and not even notice the distance you have covered or the scenery that has passed you by.

This picture from the end of this summer reminds me of that because it was a paddle with very repetitive coast line, a fine drizzle, fairly calm but getting cool wind and a long stretch of kayaking almost alone. I was lulled, if you would, or lost in my thoughts but I don't think I was thinking, I was just so engrossed in the paddle and surroundings that everything else was literally blocked out and being where you are at that time felt like where you really were supposed to be. So when I left my contemplation the senses were flooded by the colors, the sounds, the touch, the taste and the smells of the water, the air and the sky all around. Serene, peaceful and full of all that is earthly. And of course Tony who's companionship on the water allows for such contemplative moments.
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Kayaktjb said...

You have captured the appeal of long and "boring" paddles extremely well.

I'm just waiting for the "1000 Paddle Strokes to Bliss" book to appear in the New Age section of our bookstores.

Silbs said...

You captured the Zen of paddling. Nice.

Tony said...

It has been such a pleasure paddling with you this year Stan. Its special when 2 guys can go out on a paddle and banter back and forth for a bit and also have time to be on your own with your own thoughts but not be "alone".

Tony :-)

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

Thanks for the comments folks I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope all of your gods are good to you and your families in this season of quite different seasons where I think lots are reflecting more on the importance and value of one to another. All the best and I hope all your paddles are safe ones.