Sailing home

Point Reyes, CA, Canon Rebel Xti

I have been dipping in and out of the wonderful book, Sailing Home: Using Homer’s Odyssey to Navigate Life’s Perils and Pitfalls by Norman Fischer. Opening it at random today I found this passage:

Few of us are willing to actually be ourselves. Mostly, we deny, berate, or ignore ourselves, preferring self-deception, judgementalism, or just plain oblivion. Being ourselves involves awareness and acceptance of our craftiness and our imperfection-and this awareness tames us, so that we can understand and appreciate our quirks and the quirks of others. It gives a broader, deeper perspective.

Perfection is not our spiritual goal. We do not aspire to be Nobody. We are and need to be Somebody, wily and crafty enough to interact with others, but avoiding the risk of puffing ourselves up and becoming swollen and blind with self-concern. But to be Somebody in a balanced way, without overdoing it, we need to appreciate the experience of being Nobody from time to time.

To be Nobody is not to enter some fantiastic condition of egolessness. It is simply to be willing and able, when it is time, to drop the self, to let Somebody go and surrender to circumstances. We do this as a discipline when we give ourselves over in meditation or in prayer. We do it too, in those rare but always absorbing moments of abandonment that can come in art or work or love. We might need to do it at any moment of living- to let go on a moment’s notice of what we think we are and what we think we want, and be willing to turn around on a dime, trusting what comes instead of evaluating and resisting it. To be Nobody is to float on the ocean of stories with faith, and without thrashing around too much, willing to wait for the proper current to take us where we need to go.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. sonrie

    What a beautiful photo — the green grass catches my eyes and brings it up and down the image.

  2. Puanani

    Aaahhh. To remember this all of our days and in the moments when we need this the most…to all of us floating on the flotsam of faith!

  3. Joy

    Beautiful photo and passage. Thank you so much for sharing. I so needed it this morning. 🙂

  4. lucklys

    gorgeous photo and accompanying words. really inspirational, and they compliment each other so well.

  5. Molly Hart

    Perfect and true. Thank you. Just what I needed to hear right now.

  6. janehatesdick

    Wow. I don’t know what’s going on today, but the blogosphere seems to be awash with beauty and truth. Thank you. This was very timely for me.

  7. another outspoken female

    What a fascinating sounding book. I studied the Odyssey in high school and it would be great to revisit it from a different point of view. I wonder what Fischer makes of Penelope undoing her weaving each night for all those years?

  8. nicole

    Beautiful photo of my most favorite place on earth … and reminds me I haven’t been out there in a few months! Must remedy.
    This is a pretty lovely passage, too.

  9. Jeanine

    so timely, indeed. i’m always so reflective after the holidays (read: full of self-doubt and judgment). i really needed to read this right now.
    thank you.

  10. ~moe~

    beautiful and poignant. Thanks.

  11. PEtra

    The lines are touching my soul … they are beautiful ! and so is your picture.

  12. Andreal

    Thank you for this post…I am always blessed to be reminded off the act of surrender. surrendering to what we know and surrendering to the unknown.

  13. Maya

    gosh, A, what a great reminder today, as I humbly update my CV and continue to examine how I can change my work life so I can feel a little more secure. It’s bringing up lots of stuff around freedom and flexibility, but also this identity I’ve been carrying around, this freelancer person who can sort of shape-shift to meet the needs of projects and clients, and how perhaps that’s left me a little aimless in the end, like what am I really wanting to do with my time? How can I bring more of my creative writing into my professional writing life? Or do I want to do something completely different, like be a bartender (which is a serious possibility) so that I can support my writing life without compromise?
    So this idea of egolessness, this letting go of perfection and knowing, this kind of disrobing, unmasking, and trusting, most of all trusting that the process is leading somewhere useful…well, I just needed to hear that today, so I don’t “thrash” so much with anxiety and nervousness and this odd combination of shame and embarrassment and vulnerability, but just allow those things to pass over, pass through, and pass out the door so that some real clarity and sureness can take their place. Thank you. Thank you.

  14. renee

    this, for me, is a perfect summary of the journey/lesson of parenthood. for me, at least, being a good parent demands i work towards what he is describing. every day. sometimes by the minute. i get a little closer every time i realize i have strayed off course. i mean, i read that last paragraph over and over, thinking, “YESYESYES: this is what i mean…this is what i am learning while i am being ruby’s mom.”

  15. daniela Siegenthaler

    don’t mind me….i’ll be here for awhile reading and re-reading this passage. there are lots of gems in these lines. letting go, letting go….

  16. daniela Siegenthaler

    don’t mind me….i’ll be here for awhile reading and re-reading this passage. there are lots of gems in these lines. letting go, letting go….

  17. daniela Siegenthaler

    don’t mind me….i’ll be here for awhile reading and re-reading this passage. there are lots of gems in these lines. letting go, letting go….

  18. daniela Siegenthaler

    don’t mind me….i’ll be here for awhile reading and re-reading this passage. there are lots of gems in these lines. letting go, letting go….

  19. creativevoyage

    I too wanted to say what a beautiful photo and it look so much like a scottish hillside !

  20. Gypsy Alex

    Wow. Just wow. I know it sounds lame. But did I get stopped on my tracks on this passage or what? You’re my quote/post angel. Every time I come here, day after day, year after year, you just surprise me with exactly what I need to hear. It’s your superpowers, I’m sure. xoxxo

  21. jessica

    loooooooove that photo!

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