For Forty Minutes I Stood There Alone
At The Wheel, In My Grasp The Wildly Careering Schooner And The
Lives Of Twenty-Two Men.
Once we were pooped.
I saw it coming,
and, half-drowned, with tons of water crushing me, I checked the
schooner's rush to broach to. At the end of the hour, sweating and
played out, I was relieved. But I had done it! With my own hands I
had done my trick at the wheel and guided a hundred tons of wood and
iron through a few million tons of wind and waves.
My delight was in that I had done it - not in the fact that twenty-
two men knew I had done it. Within the year over half of them were
dead and gone, yet my pride in the thing performed was not
diminished by half. I am willing to confess, however, that I do
like a small audience. But it must be a very small audience,
composed of those who love me and whom I love. When I then
accomplish personal achievement, I have a feeling that I am
justifying their love for me. But this is quite apart from the
delight of the achievement itself. This delight is peculiarly my
own and does not depend upon witnesses. When I have done some such
thing, I am exalted. I glow all over. I am aware of a pride in
myself that is mine, and mine alone. It is organic. Every fibre of
me is thrilling with it.
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