Fishermen know

In September 2007 we visited the historic fishing village of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

In September 2007 we visited the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
Vincent Van Gogh

Fishermen are among many who labor at occupations fraught with potential hazards, but our lives and well being depend on workers who understand that benefits often outweigh risks.  Where would we be without their courage?

Caution is helpful unless it causes us to be paralyzed with fear.  Fishermen and other professionals use fear as motivation for preparation, wisely learning how to read the weather, evaluate the limitations of their craft, and recognize when they need to remain ashore temporarily to minimize the risks.  Then they press on, and we are all better for their refusal to be intimidated.

It takes a different type of courage to respond thoughtfully to others, whether in person or online.  To make one’s thoughts available to an unknown public, even in the relative anonymity of a blog site, can be intimidating.  I want to thank those who blog or respond with thoughtful and positive comments here and elsewhere on the web.  Those of us who put our thoughts online do so with full knowledge that we may encounter argument, disdain or disapproval.  Readers who respond in conversation are extending a type of generosity that not everyone is willing to risk.  Those of you who do take the time to read and post comments are deeply appreciated, by me and my fellow bloggers, and also by many others who read your comments.

Almost all of us face fearful circumstances from time to time. I hope we will use that fear as a motivator to learn and prepare, not an excuse to retreat or withdraw. There are risks in connecting with others, but these are insufficient reason to remain isolated.  May we continue to draw strength and courage from each other as we share our diverse but strangely unifying struggles.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    Oooo, I never thought of blogging that way before, but seafaring does have some parallels I had never noticed.
    I know you moderate your comments, which I think is wise. It’s been a long time since I even thought about that. Have you received comments on this site that were not fit to be published? I suppose nearly anything can be a controversial subject, to those seeking controversy.

    • Mainly I moderate the comments because of the totally astounding number of spam comments from all over the world, many of which are obscene and all of which are repugnant in some way. The spam filter catches most of these (along with some comments that aren’t spam) but enough of them get through to make it worth my while to moderate. Aside from spam, I have been surprised to get so few (none, really) that are overtly nasty or threatening. I have deleted a few comments over the years, usually because they are gratuitously argumentative, insensitive or offensive (usually unintentionally, such as ethnic jokes that seem harmless at first glance) or overly personal “nice” comments about me coming from someone I’ve never met in person. In other words, I try to make sure the comments stay in keeping with the overall theme of the blog. On the whole, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how few non-spam inappropriate comments I do get.

      • That’s good to know. I’ve been fortunate on Facebook so far, too, that apparently I haven’t incited much negative discourse. I’ve heard and even seen some poisonous pens…. Maybe I should check my page before I get too comfortable, having recently posted something that may look like taking sides on an issue!

        • There’s nothing wrong with taking sides, of course, as long as it doesn’t get angry or nasty. Debate and discourse are healthy things if they can focus on ideas and not degenerate into ad hominem attacks or insults about whomever disagrees. Unfortunately, that sort of ugliness is all too common online, but I’m glad I’ve managed to avoid provoking it.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

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