October 21, 2012

The best obsession

MY DICTIONARY defines obsession as “... a persistent idea, desire, emotion, etc., especially one that cannot be got rid of by reasoning.”

People aren’t warned when they take up boating that they may become obsessed, but it does happen to a lot of them.

The famous author and sailor, E. B. White was one.

“Waking or sleeping, I dream of boats--usually of rather small boats under a slight press of sail,” he wrote in a delightful essay entitled “The Sea and the Wind that Blows (from Essays of E. B. White, Harper-Collins, New York).

He said that so much of his life had been spent dreaming of small craft that he wondered about the state of his health, for he’d been told that it wasn’t a good sign to be always voyaging into unreality, driven by imaginary breezes.

But he concluded: “If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.”

A lot better than most, actually. Obsessing about boats keeps you out of most trouble, as long as you remember to be polite to landlubbers and (especially) as long as you can control the spending urge.

And, come to think ot if, if obsession can’t be got rid of by reasoning, what’s the point of fighting it?

Today’s Thought
Passion overcometh sober thought;
And this is cause of direst ills to men.
— Euripides, Medea

“Can you help me? I’m looking for someone. Do you have a Sexauer here?”
“Mister, we don’t even have a lunch-break here.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

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