The Bigger They Are the More They Get Stuck…

My Dear Friends,

I’m not into sea stories… unless it’s something like Katherine Ann Porter’s Ship Of Fools.

And then came the Ever Given. This is the name of the container ship which is part of the Taiwan based shipping company Evergreen. En route from China to Rotterdam sliding through the Suez Canal, it drifted. The hull of the ship drifted sideways into the sand wall of the Canal. HOME!  It liked where it landed.  Unfortunately, nobody else did. Most particularly the hundreds of other container ships in passage  in both directions which were now as STUCK in the Canal as the Ever Given.

A Suez Canal Dialogue ensues:

Captain of Ever Given (to Ali Schwartz, the unfortunate Canal Administrator on duty at the time) : All right already guys, we’re stuck.

Ali Schwartz:  How did that happen?

Captain:   One of my guys said we did a Tokyo Drift.

Ali Schwartz:  What the hell is a Tokyo Drift?

Captain: Damned if I know… some movie, I think.

Ali Schwartz:  O.K. we’re in contact with our Suez AAA Service Representative.  They will be there shortly.

Captain:  Hurry! The guys behind me and the guys in front of me haven’t let their hands off their horns since it happened.  

Ali Schwartz:  Before they leave to pull you off… is your membership paid up?

That conversation occurred 10 days ago.  The Ever Given is still there.  Stuck in the side of the canal. Commercial traffic, no less the family on their yacht for their once in a lifetime passage through the Suez Canal, are all stuck and if you are one of the unlucky people who ordered something online from China (like through Amazon, Walmart, etc) you can either relax or go out and buy it retail like at a store like the old fashioned way.

I feel a lot like the author of this article in the Atlantic… stuck on the container ship being stuck. In all my self help and therapeutic analysis of my voracious need to control, the story fascinates me.  I have spent half of my life intellectually aware of the need to surrender and in the surrender to understand how little in life I do control. I try. God knows I try, but habit and really, I think, fear, impedes my progress.  

And so the Ever Given is as good an example, a lesson in understanding surrender.  What the hell are we supposed to do when the mechanics of life do not cooperate in moving the chess pieces of life?? 

So, now as I watch the world converge on the Suez Canal with all their equipment and expertise and they still cannot move the behemoth, here’s my advice to one and all… 

  1. Surrender is a good thing.
  2. Find an alternate route if your travel plans involve the Suez Canal.

Right? Of course, right!

Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

2 responses to “The Bigger They Are the More They Get Stuck…

  1. Surrender, yes sweet surrender…what? There is nothing sweet about the action of surrendering. It can be down right, painful.
    The rewards, ie.the freedom from the bondage of fear, is where the sweetness is found.
    Thanks once again for your blog entries.
    Joni

  2. Sally-Jane, thank you for your openness. When we have/had our heart set on things going a certain way, it’s hard to be flexible, even though the alternate route may prove to hold unexpected treasures. Somewhere I have a black and white picture taken with an old Kodak Brownie camera of me leaning with my back against a tree, one knee bent, dressed in my dungarees (as we called them then), with a colored, horizontal striped T-shirt and my garrison belt and ankle sneakers, with a very big snarl tightening the left side of my face from the corner of my lip to my eye. Things hadn’t gone the way I expected. I was six or seven and my parents didn’t tell me that the venue for our monthly extended family gathering had changed from Van Cortland Park in the Bronx to somewhere else. Van Cortland had a good baseball field, and I was looking forward to showing off my newfound baseball skills which wouldn’t be possible in the now alternate venue. I was pissed. But who knows what unexpected treasures might have awaited me in the new venue had I “gone with the flow.”
    There’s an old German expression that you probably know; actually, maybe it was Yiddish: “We grown too soon oldt and too late schmadt.”

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