Monday, October 29, 2007

Partnerships

Shame to see Wendy Killoran and Rene Siendel's split on their paddle around Sardinia. In previous entries, Wendy had mentioned her frustration with Rene's apparently different approach to speed and day's distance covered. And now it seems to have come to a head, with Rene heading back home, and Wendy leaving to paddle solo.

Paddling on a long term expedition with a partner is a lot like a marriage, and not only in the more traditional sense of the word. Going into it with eyes wide open, a big heart, lots of respect and patience are key ingredients. This is perhaps why engagements (for expeditions and life!) are so helpful - do we pull together? Can we laugh at the same problems and cry at the same joys? Will the faster of the two slow down to enjoy the walk with the slower one? Will we be there for each other when either of us really needs it the most?

Not everyone can paddle, or live, alone. And, of course, some can and do. Those who do paddle solo are often those with a very happy partnership back home - maybe they are also the happiest soloists? Knowing that there's someone at home who loves them that they can share all their experiences with on their return?

One of my biggest feelings of loss when my mum died at far too young an age, now just six years ago, was that I couldn't call her anymore from somewhere in the world and say "Mum, you'll never guess what just happened!", and spend hours with her laughing on the phone over it. I have someone else to share those stories with now, and often we've experienced them together, especially since I learned to walk slower; and perhaps that's also why I'm happy to paddle solo when the opportunity arises.

5 comments:

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

So true so true....

Michael said...

Well said, Kristen! But does that mean I have to get rid of my little black address book? ;-)

Kristen said...

Remember Mae West's advice, Michael: Keep a diary, and one day it'll keep you. Perhaps a little black address book has the same power ;)

But, of course, I may be totally on the wrong track here. Your book may be full of the absolutely best places to paddle in all around the world!

Michael said...

For example, did you know that the only decent campsite near the beach in Glendale on Loch Pooltiel on the island of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides has a round salmon cage floatation ring stored on it? It's all written down in my little book! ;-)

Silbs said...

You surely touched on the essence of relationships with this post. I wonder how many going around something paddlers are out there to be away from something rather than to enjoy where they are. It takes all kinds. To know one's self is probably at the root of it all. Thanks for a fine posting.