The Good Ship “Aimless”

Today’s meanderings come to you from the good ship Aimless.

That’s Aimless, up there on the header. I know, I know…
why would some fool name a perfectly good craft “Aimless?” Good question.
Because the owner/captain of said “ship” was well aware of her eventual
destinations when he had her built. The intention for this hardy vessel has
never been to sail to any tangible destination, but rather to cruise effortlessly
through the intangible channels of thought and emotion… guided by the
coastal breezes and the ever-changing tides. Thus, The Aimless.

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Ambition – a beautiful Irwin you can charter, with a captain!

Still not happy? Then consider this – there exists in the San Juan’s a most
beautiful 60′ sailboat named Ambition. Sweet, right? Sure, and while it hints
at positive direction and honorable purpose, still it gives no clue as to where
it’s from or where it’s headed. (not that it should, of course…) However,
in the case of the Aimless, we instantly recognize destination and purpose.
Or lack thereof.

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Ambition                           Computerized “Painting” of Ambition

And on that topic, did you know the meanings of a ship’s prefix, such as
HMS Destiny? HMS – Her Majesty’s Ship, used by the British Royal Navy.
SV – sailing vessel, used by many sailing vessels such as SV Endeavor.
USS – United States Ship, commissioned ship of the U.S. Navy
One of my faves, USCGC – U.S. Coast Guard Cutter. England’s latest
polar research vessel, which was almost named Boaty McBoatface by
popular vote of the British populace, has actually been named the RRS
Sir Richard Attenborough… RRS standing for Royal Research Ship.
And the one I’m considering for my humble vessel, SB, for sailing barge,
or better, RSV – research sailing vessel. Ah, that’s it! RSV Sound Drifter.
We’ll think on it.

The word “aimless” can be connotatively tricky. While it suggests no destination,
or perhaps purpose, for that matter, still it hints at going *somewhere.* So it
doesn’t know where it’s going, right? Nor does it seem to care. But it is going
somewhere. Haha. Destination unknown. Don’t you find that kind of delicious?
I do. See, we’re always going somewhere, we always have a destination… and
we seldom, if ever, go without some sort of arrival time… thereby restricting the
trip’s possibilities and imposing yet another deadline in our lives. But if we did
just go, without destination or arrival time in mind, that would take all the emphasis
off the destination and put it all, 100 per cent of it, on the journey. Whoa. Now how
does THAT feel? Strange and insecure, probably. Too adventurous, not nearly
enough “knowns” in that formula. I mean, we’re so dependent upon knowing where
we’re going and how long it’s going to take, we’ve lost sight of the journey. How
many of us take the Interstate rather than the back roads? And why? Nuff said.

The Swinomish Tribe, up here in the Great Northwest, tell us that a journey
in a canoe is “A Cultural, Spiritual, and Personal journey.  We learn, change,
and grow in the process.” I like that. Anything that slows the anticipation of the
destination becomes a positive step toward enjoying the journey. Sure, we all
have to hurry to visit a sick friend from time to time. Our lives are packed to
the gills with deadlines and destinations of all kinds. And in all that, how often
can we afford to indulge “the journey?” Rarely, right?

I would like to take a journey, where I had two kegs of Alaskan Amber on
board. The main rule of the ship would be that I couldn’t reach my destination
until all the beer was gone, and I could only drink 4 mugs a day. Now that’s
the kind of deadline pressure I can live with!

And so, if I’m really this big proponent of “the journey,” if I am no longer driven
by the anticipation of the destination, and if I feel (and I do…) that a fresh voice
needs to be heard, rising above all the motivational bullshit that crowds into
our consciousness every day, nearly willing us to improve, succeed, overcome,
reach beyond, strive until you puke, etc… if I really feel this way, feel that we’re
going too fast, too far, for the wrong reasons, then, THEN, I must name my new
craft the RSV Aimless! Yes! It has a purpose, (research) it’s a sailing vessel, and
it goes only where the wind, the tides (and my sometimes futile paddling) take it.
RSV Aimless. Let the research begin…

Steve Hulse

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