Vigor’s Black Box Theory (and some thoughts on life & death)

This was sent by Captain today, as she preps the Peep Hen for our upcoming summer voyage.

Some boats seem to be more seaworthy than others. They survive storms unscathed where others get into serious trouble. Is this just luck? No, it’s work.
Every boat has an invisible black box that stores good-luck points. You earn a point every time you check the rigging before setting sail. You earn points for taking a shore bearing after you’ve anchored. Points pile up when you change the engine oil on time and buy new batteries for the GPS. In short, every seamanlike precaution you take, every little bit of maintenance or checking you do, especially on dark rainy nights when you’d rather be in your bunk, every bit of pre-planning on the chart, earns another point.
In times of stress, when you’re caught in a storm and you’ve done all you physically can, the points are cashed in as protection. You can’t control their withdrawal. They withdraw themselves as needed.
Boats that have no points in the black box will later be described as “unlucky” and “unfortunate.” But those with points to expend will survive the same conditions. The black box will take care of you. All you need to do is keep it topped up.

Meanwhile, I’ve just completed interpreting a Commencement Ceremony, those rites of passage intentionally designed to be inspirational at the transition point of an ending/beginning. In the midst of the celebration, a memorial was performed for a student who died this past year. Next I am off to a memorial for a friend who took her own life a few weeks ago. Tomorrow I’ll attend a memorial for a professor from my department.
The incredible juxtapositions of life, death, potential, and accomplishment temper the context for my own celebration tomorrow. I aim to achieve much, to be so honored as to touch people’s lives in ways that they appreciate. Witnessing the outpourings on behalf of these stellar human beings from those they’ve left behind is humbling. The bar they set is not one I imagine to actually reach. Nonetheless, proof of possibility motivates purpose.

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