EVERY STROKE WE TAKE IS ONE LESS WE HAVE TO MAKE
Going! Even against the most relentless wind or retrograde tide,
somehow a canoe moves forward. This mystery can only be expained
by the fact that each pull forward is real movement and not delusion.
THERE IS TO BE NO ABUSE OF SELF OR OTHERS
and Trust cannot exixt in anger. It has to be thrown overboard,
so the sea can cleanse it. It has to be washed off the hands and
cast into the air, so the stars can take care of it. We always
look back at the shallows we pulled through, amazed at how powerful
we thought those dangers were.
adaptable animal survives. If you get tired, ship your paddle
and rest. If you get hungrey, put in on the beach and eat a few
oysters. If you can't figure one way to make it, do something
new. When the wind confronts you, sometimes you're supposed to
go the other way.
THE GIFT OF EACH ENRICHES ALL
story is important. The bow, the stern, the skipper, the power
puller in the middle -- everyone is part of the movement. The
Elder sits in her cedar at the front, singing her paddle song,
praying for all of us. The weary paddler resting is still ballst.
And there is always that time when the crew needs some joke, some
remark, some silence to keep going, and the least likely person
WE ALL PULL AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER
occurs in isolation. When we aren't in the family of a canoe,
we are not ready for whatever comes. The family can argue, mock,
ignore each other at it's worst, but that family will never let
itself sink. A canoe that let's itself sink is certainly wiser
never to leave the beach. When we know that we are not alone in
our actions, we also know we are lifted up by everyone else.
A HUNGRY PERSON HAS NO CHARITY
nourish yourself. The bitter person, thinking that sacrifice means
self-destruction, shares mostly anger. A paddler who doesn't eat
at the feasts doesn't have enough strength in the morning. Take
that sandwich they throw at you at 2:00 AM! The gift of who you
are only enters the world when you are strong enough to own it.
EXPERIENCES ARE NOT ENHANCED THROUGH CRITICISM
we are, how we are, what we do, why we continue, flourish with
tolerance. The canoe fellows who are grim go one way. The men
and women who find the lightest flow may sometimes go slow but
when they arrive they can still sing. And they have gone all over
the sea, into the air with the seagulls, under the curve of the
wave with the dolphin and down to the whispering shells, under
the continental shelf. Withdrawing the blame acknowledges how
wonderful a part of it all everyone of us really is.
THE JOURNEY IS WHAT WE ENJOY
the start is exciting and the conclusion gratefully achieved,
it is the long, steady process we remember. Being part of the
journey requires great preparation; being done with a journey
requires great awareness; being on the journey we are much more
than ourselves. We are part of the movement of life. We have a
destination, and for once, our will is pure, our goal is to go
A GOOD TEACHER ALLOWS THE STUDENT TO LEARN
can berate each other, try to force each other to understand,
or we can allow each paddler to gain their awareness through the
ongoing journey. Nothing sustains us like that sense of potential
that we can deal with thngs. Each paddler learns to deal with
the person in front, the person behind, the water, the air, the
energy, the blessing of the eagle.
WHEN GIVEN ANY CHOICE AT ALL, BE A WORKER BEE -- MAKE HONEY !