Just let go of the oars. When you're no longer paddling against the Current, when you release your oars and relax into your own natural Well-Being, the Current, which is ever moving in the direction of that which you have become and all that you want, will carry you toward your desires.
Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide by Esther and Jerry Hicks
The ship's boards were still sticky with new resin. We leaned over the railing to wave our last farewell, the sun-warm wood pressed against our bellies. The sailors heaved up the anchor, square and chalky with barnacles, and loosened the sails. Then they took their seats at the oars that fringed the boat like eyelashes, waiting for the count. The drums began to beat, and the oars lifted and fell, taking us to Troy.
Karen rowed for what the venerable American shell builder George Pocock called 'the symphony of motion.' As dawn breaks over the river, the shell is lifted from its rack out into the morning. On another rack the oars hang ready to be greased and slipped into the locks. Then, awakened to the river and the feel of the oars, the oarsmen blend in fulfillment of the shell. The symphony is not of competition. It is the synchronous motion over water, the harmonic flexing of wood and muscle, where each piece of equipment and every oarsman is both essential to, and the limit of motion itself.
How often have I watched, and longed to imitate when I should be free to live as I chose, a rower who had shipped his oars and lay flat on his back in the bottom of the boat, letting it drift with the current, seeing nothing but the sky gliding slowly by above him, his face aglow with a foretaste of happiness and peace!
Not all who demand your attention desire your happiness, many merely seeking a conveyance to their own. It is entirely easy when wrapped up with the petty to miss what is possible and what rows your ship to worthwhile dreams. But when two or more fall together to share the oars of what might be, dreams may find them in equal measure and as fast as the wake made.
In truth, my Anglophilia is fundamentally bookish: I yearn for one of those country house libraries, lined on three walls with mahogany bookshelves, their serried splendor interrupted only by enough space to display, above the fireplace, a pair of crossed swords or sculling oars and perhaps a portrait of some great English worthy.
If the oarsmen of a fast-moving ship suddenly cease to row, the suspension of the driving force of the oars doesn't prevent the vessel from continuing to move on its course. And with a speech it is much the same. After he has finished reciting the document, the speaker will still be able to maintain the same tone without a break, borrowing its momentum and impulse from the passage he has just read out.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches, -So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with golden oars! For this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it. - Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he here and waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new tables half-written.
We should pay as much reverence to youth as we should to age; there are points in which you young folks are altogether our superiors: and I can't help constantly crying out to persons of my own years, when busied about their young people--leave them alone; don't be always meddling with their affairs, which they can manage for themselves; don't be always insisting upon managing their boats, and putting your oars in the water with theirs.
William Makepeace Thackeray
When you are rowing well and hard, the rhythm of the stroke takes over. It drives your days and restores your nights. It imparts cadence and direction. You feel like you and the boats are one, you feel that no obstacle will put up any more resistance than the water does to your oars, you feel that hard work and grit and mental toughness will always win it for you in the end.
Barry S. Strauss
I had no need of sails to drive me, nor oars nor wheels to push me, nor rails to give me a faster road. Air is what I wanted, that was all. Air surrounds me as water surrounds the submarine boat, and in it my propellers act like the screws of a steamer. That is how I solved the problem of aviation. That is what a balloon will never do, nor will any machine that is lighter than air.
Shandy looked ahead. Blackbeard, apparently willing to get the explanation later, had picked up his oars and was rowing again. 'May I presume to suggest, ' yelled Shandy giddily to Davies, 'that we preoceed the hell out of here with all due haste.' Davies pushed a stray lock of hair back from his forehead and sat down on the rower's thwart. 'My dear fellow consider it done.
The feel of a good row stays with you hours afterward. Your muscles glow, your mind wanders from the papers on you desk and goes back, again and again, to that terrific power piece at the end of the workout when it felt as if you and the boat were flying, as if you legs were two cannons and your arms were two oars and the great lateral muscles of your back were pterodactyl wings and the brim of your baseball cap was a harpoon.
Barry S. Strauss
Sometimes it is really hard to sit in the single and go for a row. I think this is really normal. I, like probably a lot of people, burn out every once in a while. What I have learned from my own experience is that there are two reasons for it to happen. It is that I am either physically tired or mentally tired. If either of these are the case, the wisest decision is to blow off practice. Blowing off practice is healthy. I didn't understand that until I was so burnt out that I wanted to make scrap material out of my single and my oars.
Mary bring out your umbrella - The sun shines down on this fine, fine day But the ashes raining down forever Are going to turn your hair to gray. Mary keep your oars a-steady Sail away on the rising flood Keep your candle at the ready Red tides can't be told from blood. - "Miss Mary" (a common child's clapping game, dating from the time of the blitz), from Pattycake and Beyond: A History of Play
Certain anthropologists hold that man, having discovered tools, ceased to evolve biologically. Animals, never having discovered them, continue to fashion drills out of their beaks, oars out of their hind feet, wings out of their forefeet, suits of armor out of their hides, levers out of their horns, saws out of their teeth. Whether this be true or not, all authorities agree that man is the tool-using animal. It sets him off from the rest of the animal kingdom as drastically as does speech.
His three boats stove around him, and oars and men both whirling in the eddies; one captain, seizing the line-knife from his broken prow, had dashed at the whale, as an Arkansas duellist at his foe, blindly seeking with a six inch blade to reach the fathom-deep life of the whale. That captain was Ahab. And then it was, that suddenly sweeping his sickle-shaped lower jaw benieath him, Moby Dick had reaped away Ahab's leg.
A person cannot coast along in old destructive habits year after year and accept whatever comes along. A person must stand up on her own two legs and walk. Get off the bus and go get on another. Climb out of the ditch and cross the road. Find the road that s where you want to go. ... The only sermon that counts is the one that is formed by our actions. She would quit drinking and thereby show Kyle life is what you make it. A person can grab hold of her life and change things for the better. This happens all the time. We are not chips of wood drifting down the stream of time. We have oars.
Then on the River I saw the dream-built ship of the god Yoharneth-Lehai, whose great prow lifted grey into the air above the River of Silence. Her timbers were olden dreams dreamed long ago, and poets' fancies made her tall, straight masts, and her rigging was wrought out of the people's hopes. Upon her deck were rowers with dream-made oars, and the rowers were the people of men's fancies, and princes of old story and people who had died, and people who had never been.
He took his hands off the oars and pulled in the mooring rope. If I make a couple of loops, he thought, I can strap the axe on to my back. He had a mental picture of what could happen to a man who plunged into the cauldron below a waterfall with a sharp piece of metal attached to his body. GOOD MORNING. Vimes blinked. A tall dark robed figure was now sitting in the boat. 'Are you Death?' IT'S THE SCYTHE, ISN'T IT? PEOPLE ALWAYS NOTICE THE SCYTHE. 'I'm going to die?' POSSIBLY. 'Possibly? You turn up when people are possibly going to die?' OH, YES. IT'S QUITE THE NEW THING. IT'S BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. 'What's that?' I'M NOT SURE. 'That's very helpful.
West Wind #2 You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart's little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks - when you hear that unmistakable pounding - when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming - then row, row for your life toward it.
A Brief for the Defense Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils. But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants. Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women at the fountain are laughing together between the suffering they have known and the awfulness in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody in the village is very sick. There is laughter every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta, and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay. If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction, we lessen the importance of their deprivation. We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil. If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, we should give thanks that the end had magnitude. We must admit there will be music despite everything. We stand at the prow again of a small ship anchored late at night in the tiny port looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront is three shuttered cafes and one naked light burning. To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth all the years of sorrow that are to come.
Oh, " he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing, " he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No, " said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh, " said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh, " said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No, " said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours, " he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs... I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes... miles and miles of it... tents of it... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings... their great beds... the food they eat... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do, " laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out... just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean, " asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came, -the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon, -that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure, -he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room, alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours, -but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget, -it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained, -the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare, -exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe