The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus uses the maxim "know thyself" in his play Prometheus Bound. In this play, Prometheus first rails at the Olympian gods, and against what he believes to be the injustice of his having been bound to a cliffside by Zeus. Oceanus comes to Prometheus to reason with him, and cautions him that he should "know thyself." In this context, Oceanus is telling Prometheus that he should know better than to speak ill of the one who decides his fate and accordingly, perhaps he should better know his place in the "great order of things. In other words "Know Thy Place."
I have been accused of having a story for every circumstance by my dearest friends. I believe they think I am making the story up. I felt cut off and cut down not because they didn't believe me, but because I couldn't tell the story. The truth is that real storytellers see the world of circumstance and immediately put what seems like scattered facts into a cogent story. This is how storytellers organize their memories. It also helps to have a great memory for these kinds of facts.
Offshore Explorer looks at culture and history through the mariner's eyes. We travel from port to port looking at the state of life today. How they got that way is part of the endless fascination of life. These articles are useful tools to understand the interpreter. My views are influenced by the experiences I have accrued over a lifetime. By understanding those points of inflection in my life the arm chair traveler can fully grasp the beauty and glory of the human endeavor. It is like walking with the artist in his canvas as he explains, shows, and experiences the subject and colors of that moment.
There was a small wooden sign on the side road riddled with bullet holes that read "Joint United States Military Advisory Group, Thailand (JUSMAGTHAI) Straight ahead Dumb Ass." JUSMAGTHAI is located on a Royal Thai Armed Forces military compound approximately two kilometers from the American Embassy, on Sathorn Tai Road. This was my home for 26 months and 13 days. I spent maybe a month total actually on the base, the rest of the time I was Laos and Cambodia. I jumped off at Udorn RTAF where I had a cot in the back of a 1945 quonset hut, an ice box, and a hot plate. I was 20 years old. This was 1972. The Vietnam war was deescalating only no one told the North Vietnamese, the Laotians, or Pol Pot.
Passion is that barely containable emotion. It is that scintilla of uncontrollable fury so perfectly focused as to be defined as either religious possession or modified by words to describe its path, like deeply, profoundly, but always colored with a degree of suffering. Passion is an actor being. Becoming a sailor, traveler, and writer is intertwined with the experience of passion.
From Russia with Love appeared on screens in 1963. Sean Connery starred as the unflappable James Bond. I was eleven. I secretly read Ian Flemming's sexy book under my covers with a flashlight. I was a voracious reader and avid film goer. How I worked those circumstances out should be explained. Looking back on my life that summer probably shaped my thinking in a profound and lasting way. I have wandered the seas around the world with a certain panache. Here is how it started, I think.