“Watch Kon-tiki” John said early last month. A day’s doings drove the idea from my mind.
“Doug, you have got to watch Kon-Tiki!” his more recent assertion fired the “must-do” section of my brain and drove me home to do exactly that.
The film is a wonderfully realized narrative that depicts the events of a post WW2 fact finding expedition helmed by a man named Thor Heyerdahl. You might be thinking, “Oooh this sounds interesting, I think I’ll cap off the night by parking a ruler next to a blade of grass and charting its progress”. Allow me to describe it once more, and this time I’ll put some stank on it. Thor, and his team of willing (mad) accomplices built a raft, a vessel devoid of any means of steerage or propulsion, with the express purpose of DRIFTING in the open ocean from the coast of South Africa to, they hoped, the Polynesian islands. Six men would reside on a raft no more than 9 Balsa wood logs in length for 101 days while battling unhospitable seas, wavering morale, vessel degradation, visits from the creature of Peter Benchley’s obsession, and little to no radio contact. For emphasis, in 1948 this band of men, on a vessel created with materials that civilizations would have used hundreds of years previously (no metals or modern trappings), successfully drifted a distance of 3,770 nautical miles to reach a destination almost no one believed they could. There is only one word I know that accurately encapsulates such efforts: Adventure.
John telling me to watch that movie may very well have been him asking me to spend hours digging into the legacy of the expedition. It is as though he asked, what will you take away from the knowledge that this world has bred such heroes as this? A lust for adventure would be my answer. It is staggering to learn of the accomplishments inspired by the crew of Kon-Tiki, and I ravenously devour documentation of those that set out into the world in order to damn and bolster our perception of the earth. However, I find a most curious sensation bubbles beneath my flesh. The more I learn, the more I yearn to be away from page and screen. Each article inhabits deep recesses of my mind and it is though I can feel the spray of the sea on my skin, hear the call of a gull, and see before me a horizon that is beautiful and dreadful. Goosebumps riddle my flesh and a smirk smears itself across my lips as I defiantly slam shut the book of others accomplishments. It is time I had my own adventure.
I also have to be at work in a half hour.
Though I walk out the door with the knowledge that there is an 8 hour obligation between myself and some grand sweeping adventure I am sure will lay itself before me, I feel alive even only confronted with possibility of tackling something alien to me. This whisper of risk addles my bones and I take a right where I would normally take a left. Another deft maneuver finds me down roads I never take in a city I live in every day. The proverbial path less trodden rewards me with the sight of a glorious magnolia tree in full bloom. Less than 5 blocks and ten minutes from my door rests a reward worth risks. I could have been late to work, but for my rambling I discovered. I wonder what fruits the next wrong turn will bear, and for this restlessness I have John to thank.
For those interested in learning more about the Kon-Tiki adventure, visit this address – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki.