Release The Following Wake

850. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

“Have you ever noticed how the ferries in Seattle never come directly into the dock?” Skip asked. We were riding the ferry from Larkspur to San Francisco and it was moving along at a fast clip. “Pay attention to this ferry. It will slow and nearly stop and then make a turn before it docks.” Skip watched me watch the ferry. He was right. It nearly stopped and made a turn before docking.

I looked at Skip and he laughed at my confusion. “The water displaced by the ferry would smash the ferry into the dock if it went straight for a landing. They have to slow and turn to release the energy of the wave. It’s called a ‘following wake,’” he said. In other words, the displaced water, the wake, has such force that it would push the ferry into and smash the dock. In order to dock, the ferry first needs to attend to its momentum. It need to deal with what it has created. Now there’s a metaphor!

In the past six months I have displaced a lot of metaphoric water. I did not know about a following wake and have splintered plenty of docks. I tried to go straight into my landing and found myself being carried further than I intended. No amount of brakes will help when being pushed by a following wake. Good intentions will do nothing to mitigate the damage to the dock. The wave doesn’t care. It is energy in motion and does what energy is supposed to do when released. It transforms. It changes shape. It is equally destructive as it is creative and the energy does not make that distinction. Destruction and creation are false separations necessary only to we storying humans.

A few days ago Barney told me that water carries the memory. He told me that water brings up the memory from the deep. “Air is changeable. Water carries the memory,” he said. I couldn’t help but combine the notion of a following wake with the idea that water carries the memory. Memory is a powerful wave, a following wake and if it is not attended to, if it is not dealt with, its force will smash you into the dock. Take a moment. Slow down. Turn ever so slightly so the memory wake can release, and then you can move slowly into rest.

During this week Skip, Barney, and Daphne gave me a lifetime of incredible gifts. And without my “knowing,” they showed me how to put my hands in the earth, to slow down enough to feel it, and while I was sitting in the present moment my following wake released its energy. I turned ever so slightly as the powerful wave passed me by. Now I can safely go home.

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