Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 67 > Page 15 - Advert: Sterling Silver - A Terrific New Collection by Silver Donald Cameron

Page 15 - Advert: Sterling Silver - A Terrific New Collection by Silver Donald Cameron

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/8/1 (229 reads)

work, it can indeed be dangerous. From any rational point of view it's a thoroughly stupid enthusiasm. Can it be, though, that fear and isolation are what a sailor seeks? Am I, in some obscure way, demanding that I measure up to some idiotic, self-imposed standard of manhood, testing my own self-reliance? I don't know, but I have a hunch that part at least of the lure of craising in a sailboat is the inevitability of fear. Suppose one sailed always in fair, moderate breezes, ending each day in a secure anchorage, drinking a sundowner while the evening flared and died. No: who wants craising under sail to be as reg? ular and reliable as railway travel? Craising means making the wind and sea serve your purposes; it means being able to cope with all the moods of wind and weather. But beyond all that I believe that some of us actually require fear. Look at all the strange things people do for fun • especially men, macho idiots that we are • which involve some element of danger, and thus some legitimate fear. Flying light planes and gUders. Riding kites off mountains. Racing cars and motor- boats. SCUBA diving. Skydiving. Ski jumping. Hunting, mountaineering, canoeing. Why do so many old soldiers come alive when they talk about the war? I'm talking here of physical fears, chiefly. Most Canadians probably don't experience physical fear very often. We're frightened about our children's education, about financial prob? lems, about the ache in our chest that could be lung cancer or heart disease, about the disintegration of our jobs or our fami? lies. Those are real fears, and they can be crippling. But they aren't the same as physical fears which strike like a blinding re? alization: I'm going to get hurt. I could be killed. Right now. Skating on a lake, you hear the ice crack. You can't find your way out of the woods. Repairing your roof, you lose your foot? ing and slide helplessly towards the eave. On a snowy road the car's wheels seem to slip out from under you and the world tums sideways as you twist into a sickening slide. Oh God, this is it. That kind of fear, once passed, can't even be recalled. Like the experience of pain, it seems unreal in retrospect, the memory of a dream or a scene from a powerful film. Memory won't give you that nauseous lurch in your stomach. The reality of fear is easy to deny. Not only that. Men are almost forbidden to admit their physical fears. The most humane spirits among the feminists have always pointed out that sexism imprisons men as well as women. Men are obliged to be strong, unemotional, relatively inarticulate, and rather unimaginative. Men may rage, but they don't cry. In perilous situations, courageous men comfort terrified women. to lie about this. I vowed to myself in the middle 'oin' iys( HORYL'S Superior Sausage Co. jCtd. 21 Union Hwy. • NEW WATERFORD • B1H 4K4 Phone 862-7177 or 862-7178 Some of our fine products include: * Polish Sausage tt'ES'j''' * ''l'*'' * Kolbassa * Garlic Bologna (Jl''W''' * '?' Pepperoni * White Pudding ''''' * Medium Hot Pepperoni * Black Pudding '*?'' * Sliced Pizza Pepperoni We take pride in using only the finest government inspected meats, and the care it takes to make our sausages. When you ask for HoiyVs, you get the best. • SPECIALIZING IN QUALITY DELI MEATS FOR OVER 60 YEARS • of the lake. When a friend we'll call Roy asked me about my summer's sailing, I told him I'd crossed the big lake in a 35- knot breeze. "Lor', I wish I was there, I guess she was goin' like stink." No, I told him, you wouldn't have wanted to be there. I didn't want to be there. The seas were mean, the boat was heaving like a drankard's stomach, and I was scared stiff. He looked at me as though I'd told him I had leprosy. "Scared?" "You bet I was scared." Roy thought for a moment. "You know," he said, "that's not an easy thing to admit" "I want to figure it out. If I don't I'll probably quit sailing." "Would you?" asked Roy. He paused a moment. "You know something? I don't think I ever said this before, but I been scared out there by times myself." "Yeah?" "You remember that time I told you about, when we steamed right over the shoal in a blow and a wave dropped us right on the bottom? Lord liftin', I thought that was it. What a crack when she hit: broke every piece of glass in the wheelhouse. Well, Mister Man, I was some scared then. Just wanted to go hide in a bunk till the storm was over." "But you can't." "No. And another time...." He was off, and his stories came in a rash, as though they were a burden he had carried for years, and was eager to unload. He had been afraid not once, but often. 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