I can’t help but muse about what shipboard life was like 100 years ago. I’m not talking about staterooms and dinners and how many bottles of wine you needed to lay in for long voyages. I’m wondering about the mindset on board How people responded as they looked over the rail of the ship and saw nothing but water. Day after day.
Today, on our voyage we have multiple TV channels, we have films to stream in the stateroom. There are feature films twice a day in the theater. There are lectures galore. Classes on memoir writing. Classes on using Adobe Photoshop. Art classes, bridge lessons, keyboard instruction, knitting and needlework and so much more.
Every day at sea the cruise team makes sure that people stay busy. I wonder if they worry we might mutiny? If they fear that the passengers will turn to drink (more than they already do) or engage in lurid trysts (I’ve seen none but there are stories) to pass the time? Could fisticuffs erupt? I don’t know. Even on a ship like this with a somewhat more mature group of passengers, there’s still a lot of energy.
Of course, I’m not complaining about all those things to do especially given that I’m part of those on-board distractions offered to keep passengers busy. I did my first lecture yesterday and there are two more lectures and two panel discussions to come. And we’re enjoying tremendously all that there is to do.
I am also enjoying, however, finding the moments to just sit. Finding the time to reflect. To write. To read.
I can’t help but think that years ago, passengers on ships like this may have embraced a skill we are no longer so comfortable with… the art of just being with ourselves. Within ourselves. Maybe we should unplug, step back and give it a try. Who knows, we may like what we find.