“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me…surely, you’ve heard of the Pirates of the Caribbean. The Disneyland ride entranced me when I was a young girl, and the movies have enchanted me since my 40th birthday. From what I’ve seen, I’m not alone in my obsession with the pirate phenomenon. There are entire shops dedicated to All Things Buccaneer. What is it about pirates that makes them so appealing?
Maybe it’s the fact that they do what they want…damn the consequences. Pillage and plunder and rifle and loot (drink up, me hearties, yo ho!). They’re a tricky lot…playing possum, or predator, on the open seas. The wealth of kingdoms is at their disposal, especially in times of war. Privateers were just state-sanctioned pirates…imagine that.
Fearless Barefoot Freedom. Pirates never ask permission, never give quarter to those who would urge caution. Sure, they’re a reckless, raunchy lot…but they’ve got style, and not one would trade their life for one of mediocrity!
I think what sets the image of Pirate as an archetype for me is that sense of adventure…the willingness to do what means the most to your Self. Emerson was a pirate, as was Thoreau. So was Ginsberg…and Kerouac…and Dylan. They whisper with rum-laden breath, “do as ye will.”
Feast or famine, a pirate’s life is always his (or her) own.
There’s a dare if ever I heard one. Of course, if you’re inclined to the Goody-Two-Shoes approach to life (as I am), “what ye will” is tempered with compassion. How do you reconcile goodwill with piracy?
Follow your chart, of course. Not the chart laid out by generations…not the chart of politics, religion, gender, race, nation, your dog…
Most of us never even look at our own charts… our own unique navigational tools to the places we’re meant to explore and plunder. But that’s where the course lies, of course. No other human, no other pirate has the same chart, the same skills, the same point-of-view as you do. An your chart will never exist again.
As captain, you decide if your course is true. Will you claim that hidden treasure that only you know how to reach? There’s an old pirate who said, “Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” His name was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and he know the secret to the voyage.
Will you set sail?