MARCH 1 2011 : Day 60 : A ship in the harbour is safe, but ships are not built for this.


A ship in the harbour is safe, but ships are not built for this.

february 06 004

I first saw these words when I was sitting in a Parish office of the Catholic Church in Maroubra, Sydney. I was emerging from the ashes of my personal life and sitting with Sister Clare who had given me Phoenix status as well as bags of clothes and the frozen ‘priests’ dinners’ (the priests apparently preferred home delivery pizza).

Having been blanked out from most forms of wisdom for my 20 Rip Van Winkle years, I was often taken with posters and speakers and songs which seemed to bombard me with an accelerated maturation in the arena of “Wisdom”.

I had spent a good deal of my life trying to stay in Safe Harbours. Trying also to look good. Looking good was pretty much trashed by Life and no harbour seemed to remain ‘safe’. I took the 371 bus home to South Coogee with this message running around inside my head.

A ship in the harbour is safe, but ships are not built for this.

I grew up Methodist and rather thought that Priests and Nuns did not speak to ordinary people. In Sister Clare, I made a good and trusted friend. When money was very short in our new family life, as it usually was, she gave me the assignment of painting 50 Easter Cards for the Nuns for $50. There was a challenge. I didn’t know whether or not I could paint or even draw anymore but I had two children to take care of so I painted. Funny thing, choosing the illustrations for a Nun’s Easter Card.

When I was growing up Methodist, I was disturbed for years over the story of the 5 talents. I knew I was the one who hid their talents under something and hoped they would still all be there when the reckoning came.  Living as a timid neurotic is hard work.

I spent some time back then working out what kind of ship I was and what it was that I was built for. What was I meant to do ? Where was I meant to sail to ? What did I need to take on board ? What crew did I need ? What damage had I sustained ? What repairs were called for ?  Where was my home port ?  And then I set sail !

I am a little older now like the fine yacht UTIEKAH III in which I sailed in the 1970s.

I just located the UTIEKAH III Blog and beneath the image these words are written.


lynne footbridge3


Sorry, Nick, Got to go now.