After the Applause has Gone


Some rower sets off from his childhood to cross the Atlantic of his life.  The crowds gather to applaud his beauty,courage and the adventure before him. He is moved by the numbers of people who are  there and pulls strongly on his oars as he approaches the harbour entrance. The walls are lined with well wishers. It is an astonishing and uplifting sight. Slowly as he rows the harbour slips behind him. Some close friends and family still follow him in little power boats but the crowd is left behind.   Slowly as the shore line  shrinks behind him, the friends  turn back towards their harbour. Emotions well up and you so wish you could go with them, but what a fool you’d look if you did, so you row on, watching their receding figures move slowly out of sight . The training and the will power kick in as you pull on your oars with nothing but the sound of passing water and the waves to keep you company. One thing you know for sure. There is no turning back.

In life sometimes, or perhaps more often, we move because we have to. That adventure is more of an escape or result of misfortune. That harbour we called a haven is no longer there and we are forced to carry on, destination unknown, to some uncharted location. We have no crowds to cheer us though friends comment on our situation and commiserate with us for our bad luck. Always the blame seems to lie elsewhere but in the silence of our minds we are not so sure. Is the blame  not partly ours ?  The doubts within us eat at the will to battle on

The disturbance of heartache or change live on  long after you have left the shoreline of your past.  Now you find yourself in mid-ocean, rowing away as hard as you can, or possibly flagging,  then giving up for a time, letting the currents take you where they will. You cannot hear the cheers now. They are  somewhere else, busy with another life. Will your next choice be as bad as your last. Did I aim to high or too low. Why me, the questions come and go but the problems still remain.

Sometimes you row because you must: you’ve nothing else  to do. Sometimes the beauty of your surroundings can be lost in the effort of surviving them. . But look around you: there is no shelter here so go on you must. Whatever frenzy fired you at the start is gone and leaving only the repetition of  days:  searching the future for some small smudge on the horizon offering release.

To be without doubt is a symptom of madness but to live without faith is impossible. However much your arms ache  believing in yourself is the first step to finding your destination. This is what I tell myself. Doubts are normal but faith is essential and helping each other have more of it is one of our greatest gifts.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in community, faith, Life, Relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to After the Applause has Gone

  1. stardust310 says:

    Truly amazing and so very true.

    Like

  2. This line “To be without doubt is a symptom of madness but to live without faith is impossible.” is one of the most powerful lines I’ve read from you. I love it. Keep up the great work

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  3. Miss Emm says:

    This was a very touching entry. You summed up how I feel deep inside without me having to share a word with you.

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  4. kirri says:

    Yesterday, was not one of my best and brightest and this morning I am still feeling like a lone companion in my little boat wondering where to go next. Thanks for reminding me to keep the faith x

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  5. Caroline says:

    Thank you for putting so eloquently how I feel. To keep rowing is the only option and I have faith – I have total faith in you and I have some faith in me!!

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  6. Julie says:

    Dear fellow rower,
    “Sometimes you row because you must: you’ve nothing else to do. Sometimes the beauty of your surroundings can be lost in the effort of surviving them. . But look around you: there is no shelter here so go on you must.” The plight of my soul. What tremendous gentleness of spirit and beauty your writing exudes. Thank you, CD.

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  7. says:

    Sometimes you row because you must: you’ve nothing else to do. What a coincidence. I chose the same line as Julie above to comment on. It’s so true. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and carry on.

    Thank you for your kind words. Stay well.

    Julie

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  8. scrambled7 says:

    Wow, such a brilliant comparison, and it makes so much sense.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  9. Sometimes, I’ve got too much doubt. Thanks for reminding me I need a little more faith.

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  10. eof737 says:

    To be without doubt is a symptom of madness but to live without faith is impossible. I concur and I live my life with that belief… faith carries us far. 🙂
    Again, I’m catching up on blog comments after another long 4 day yoga retreat in Boston… I got back Thursday night to over a thousand emails. Will begin a marathon commenting effort shortly! TY! 🙂

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  11. Christine A. says:

    Beautifully written! I love your writing- your thoughts.

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  12. Deana says:

    To be without doubt is a symptom of madness but to live without faith is impossible. — seems I’m not the only one who loves that quote. I’m keeping that one in my quote file. I love the imagery here. Nice article.

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  13. Change is the only thing in life I’ve come to expect. And doubt? I can’t waste my energy on the what ifs? either about the past or the future. The only solid ground on which I have to stand is this moment. It’s hard to stay here, without jumping forward or backwards, but I’m learning. And as I get better at it, I become a much happier, more peaceful person.

    Beautifully written essay to provoke an essential self-refection for all of us. You’re so good at this!

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  14. ” Sometimes you row because you must: you’ve nothing else to do. Sometimes the beauty of your surroundings can be lost in the effort of surviving them. . But look around you: there is no shelter here so go on you must. Whatever frenzy fired you at the start is gone and leaving only the repetition of days: searching the future for some small smudge on the horizon offering release.”

    Its as if you have been riding in my boat with me the past two + years; oh wait! you were……..you were one of the ones who kept me rowing and cheering me on.

    “faith is essential and helping each other have more of it is one of our greatest gifts.” I agree, and thank you for giving me the wonderful gift of giving me faith when I had none of my own.

    great analogy and imagery!

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  15. mothermi6 says:

    I can’t remember his name, but I thought about the man who set off in the ‘Teignmouth Electron’ (was it?) and ended up simulating a sail round the world and who died, probably of shame. We all seem to be engaged in some great, individual, struggle for personal meaning and, to attempt it, means the risk of failure or death. But we are impelled – driven – forwards in our endeavours. Oh and only an English man could call his blog: ‘Counting Ducks.’ A lovely title.
    Evangeline

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  16. restlessjo says:

    Beautiful thoughtful writing. The 5 stars are warranted. 🙂

    Like

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