Advocacy at Home – Global Ecology

Ecology is a cousin topic to environment. However, while environment suffers from geologic shifts, climate change and excess carbon in the atmosphere, ecology focuses directly on living creatures and their habitats. Include humans as a living creature. Globally, the United Nations estimates that 200 species go extinct every day. In her book, The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert states that this rate of extinction is far beyond anything since the Cretaceous Extinction when the dinosaurs disappeared.

Kolbert says humans are the cause of the sixth extinction. Daily, millions of acres of habitat and whole seas are destroyed to make way for human activity. We know about oil spills and burning the Amazon rain forest. Does the reader know that humans, along with global warming, carried a frog-killing fungus (chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) to every continent – even the Antarctic! This virus originally existed in one valley in South America.

It is common knowledge that bees are struggling because of many things from viruses to insecticides. The same is true of bats. In the states of New York, Vermont and Indiana, whole colonies are dying. The mariner knows from experience on the farm that a good bat colony keeps the mosquitoes away as well as many insects destructive to crops. One researcher suspects a spelunker who visited caves in the three states is the most likely culprit.

No doubt, the sanctity of other creatures is disregarded as Homo sapiens trashes its way over the surface of the planet.

The news yesterday covered a story about large numbers of turtles and thousands of fish washing up on shore in Peconic Bay on Long Island. Not studied in detail yet, it is suspected that an algae bloom occurred in the bay; excessive amounts of saxitoxin (a byproduct of algae) were found in the dead animals. The cause is presumed to be antiquated sewage systems around the bay. Homes are old in the area and use buried septic tanks instead of modern sewage practices. Sewage, rich in Nitrogen, leached into the bay causing a red bloom of algae. Now, Peconic Bay is off limits to humans but the sewage tanks remain.

The mariner recommends the reader take a slow walk around the house and property followed by an hour’s walk around the neighborhood. Carry a pen and a small notebook. Look for wildlife or evidence of wildlife. List each creature you find. Do not exclude any creature; ants, bees, worms, and “bugs” count, chained dogs count, birds, foxes, squirrels – every creature. Make a note beside each creature telling what is critical to its habitat; does the creature depend on human habitation? Is its habitat under stress or damaged by human activity? Would the creature notice if the human infrastructure weren’t present?

Also, note situations that seem to detract from the creature’s environment – things like streets between feeding grounds, sparse ground cover, broken glass and human rubble that interferes with grazing by birds and other creatures that need to eat on the ground; oil spills and other contaminating chemicals, no open water (not even an old rain puddle), etc.

Without leaving the neighborhood, the walk has sensitized the reader to how every creature has its own habitat. What would improve the relationship between their habitats and the human habitat? What can the reader do to improve the situation? In many cases, because things and space belong to others, nothing can be done – or maybe something.

Wherever the reader lives, there is a conservation/wildlife organization nearby. Participate in projects that improve ecological health and opportunity for all creatures; at least be a subscribing member. As you will see in a later advocacy about species, the names and phone numbers of environment and animal protection organizations are important to have handy.

It has been said many times that ‘nature is pristine.’ That phrase is used only when one is observing nature undisturbed by humans. Undisturbed nature has had eons to integrate and balance the many habitats that co-exist. Nevertheless, humans have now arrived. What can the reader do to integrate with nature?

It may be as simple as a bird feeder in the winter and a birdbath in the summer. Maybe the toad in the garden (a sign of good fortune) would like a cool spot under a broken flower pot. Maybe the dog would like to go somewhere to have a good run – that’s what dogs do best. In that bare spot by the back fence, plant white clover for the bees. Build a small pond engineered to be a genuine habitat for many small creatures. It’s an old saw but plant a tree. The mariner planted milkweed for the Monarchs.

Don’t be deterred by the fact that the reader lives in a condominium or apartment. On the other side of the front door is a whole world of outside.

Ecological advocacy is about sensitivity to life – all life.

Ancient Mariner

Po Pouree

Know Thyself – Read the Comics

Today, Sunday May 24, 2015, the mariner’s local newspaper defined him, in his entirety, with only two comic strips, one following the other on the same page. The first strip was Peanuts, a rerun from 1968; the second was Dilbert.

The mariner has maintained throughout his life that comic strips and single-pane cartoons are the most important section of the newspaper. The comics have a sly way of slipping through one’s prejudice, ignorance, and lack of emotional maturity to plant the seed of a new insight. Think for a moment how comics reflect basic angst that often affects each of us. Think for a moment how comics can reflect an entire segment of our culture in one cartoon. Think for a moment how narrow minded we would be if we could not laugh at ourselves. Simultaneously, comics are irreverent, biased, simplistic, insightful, hilarious and wise.

Each of us is a complex conglomeration of evolution that began billions of years ago. It is no exaggeration that we entered life as no more than a cluster of chemicals that could replicate and today we are warm blooded, mammalian, intelligent (relative to other creatures although we lack the skills they possess) and now we stand on the edge of a future that will allow us to manage our own evolution. God forbid.

We have brains that use deduction and induction in an unbelievably powerful way, reducing complex knowledge to a few simple terms; who defined motion across the entire universe with the formula E=MC2 ? Each of us can read a thousand words in a momentary facial expression. Each of us – well, most of us – can deduce years of history from a single cartoon. As complex as we are, each of us can be fully defined in one comic strip with faster speed and more acuity than if defined by a psychiatrist.

John Nash

Tragically, John Nash and his wife Alicia were killed in an automobile accident yesterday. Do you remember the movie A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe as John Nash? The mariner became a big fan of the movie, John Nash, and the subtleties of game theory. Nash won the Nobel Prize for Mathematics in 1994. Game theory studies interactive decision-making, where the outcome for each participant or “player” depends on the actions of all players individually. Consequently, whether an individual, business, government or sewing circle, we play game theory in virtually every activity – even buying groceries, a game between us, the market and the producers. Nash was able to prove mathematically that ‘equilibrium’ is an actual state of being at all times, like a chess board is always present no matter who wins the game or how they play it. However, the chess board limits squares in such a way that a player must consider what the opponent’s strategy is in order to make his or her own best move.

The most familiar demonstration of game theory is applied in virtually every cop show on television. It’s called The Prisoner’s Dilemma:

The police interrogate two suspects separately, and suggest to each that he or she should snitch on the other and turn state’s evidence. If the other does not snitch, then you can cut a good deal for yourself by giving evidence against the other; if the other snitches and you hold out, the court will treat you especially harshly. Thus, no matter what the other does, it is better for you to snitch than not to snitch — snitching is your uniformly best or ‘dominant’ strategy. This is the case whether the two of you are guilty or innocent. Of course, when both snitch, they both fare worse than they would have if both had held out; but that outcome, though jointly desirable for them, collapses in the face of their separate temptations to snitch.

The mariner apologizes for being pedantic; his dominant strategy was to share why John Nash is important to everyone. The mariner snitched.

Oh, Those Promiscuous Neandertals

The following is an excerpt from Scientific American letters to the editors. The mariner sent it to a few family members in an email. They just will have to read it again. He included the writer’s response because it shows how we can be caught up in our own value system without including peripheral knowledge simply because it doesn’t fit easily into our values:

When the mariner was in his thirties, the scientific explanation for red-headed Homo sapiens was due to occasional inter-species sex with neandertals. It has been proven by DNA studies that we do have a small piece of neandertal in us. However, “occasional inter-species sex” has been thrown out. Read the response to a woman who wrote of neandertal ‘dalliances’ in her February article in Scientific American.

Kate Wong’s suppositions about what brought about neandertals’ extinction in “Neandertal Minds” are contrary to the known history of anatomically modern Homo sapiens (that is, us). Her assertions that neandertals were just out competed and that the 1.5 to 2.1 percent neandertal DNA within people outside of Africa is the result of occasional “dalliances” would be historically unlikely.

The most likely scenario would involve waves of immigrating anatomically modern humans taking over land and causing death by plunder and disease, as Europeans discovering the New World did. And it would be naive to think that our neandertal DNA was the result of consensual dalliances when rape went hand in hand with the pillage of every other civilization.

It would be wise for us to give up the notion that we are, or our ancestors before us were, a benevolent and sharing species.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine”

Ancient Mariner




Spring is the season of hope because the Earth has come back for the summer. Spring, like fall, introduces a mountain of work. Spring cleaning, repairing and cleaning the house inside and out, taking a first look at your flower garden to see what’s left after the rabbits have used it for a cafeteria during the winter. How many shallots survived the squirrels?

In the mariner’s town, there are laws that say all dogs must be on a leash or well penned. Cats don’t settle in as unofficial vermin hunters like they do back on the farm. Coyotes are not encouraged; the largest owl is the barn owl – good for mice, voles, etc. but too small for rabbits and squirrels. One rabbit had the audacity to spend the winter in the flower garden leaving behind evidence of a small warren behind an Iris. A foot away, beside a pile of rabbit pellets is a Spirea eaten to the ground. By now, the Spirea should be four feet tall.

Consequently, the mariner must build a rabbit fence around the back yard. Squirrels are on notice – he owns a .177 caliber air rifle with a great scope set to 30 yards.

In his town, the Ash Borer wasp has invaded much like ISIS: take no prisoners. 80% of the trees in the town are old Ash Trees. The mariner has six. Three already are stressed.

The hardest work for these old sea legs is standing on a ladder. Painting, trimming trees, cleaning gutters, topping fruit trees, all are an accident waiting to happen. If the ladder would sway a bit, like a boat does, it would be much easier – but he does all the swaying. There definitely is opportunity for a chaotic moment!

The mariner bought a chain saw that is on the end of a shaft that can extend to ten feet. That makes incidental trimming possible. When he was training to be a sailor, he learned how to rig a bosun’s chair to climb the mast. He thinks this may not work among the branches of an Ash tree. The mariner may have to pay someone to drop the infected trees – something he would have done himself only a decade ago.

There is a phenomenon in his town. There is a constant hum of two-cycle gas engines every day, all day. It starts at 8:30am and is ceaseless until well after sunset. The source is lawnmowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, cultivators, chainsaws, and power washers. It started officially on April 11. The mariner’s good friend and neighbor started the season by cutting his lawn. The mariner walked over to him to complain that he has broken the silence and for the next five months, the two-cycle drone will be endless.

The neighbor acknowledged this with a grin and added, “I know. Now my next door neighbors will have to cut their lawns so they don’t look ragged next to mine.” He knew, of course, as all the mariner’s neighbors know, the mariner lets his grass grow to four or five inches because the mariner thinks grass should look like grass rather than someone’s living room carpet. The mariner has always suspected keeping grass under control is some form of psychological power; grass is easier to control than other things in life.

The King of droning noises is the dirt track at the Fairgrounds. Every weekend, modified street automobiles without mufflers race around the track all evening. It seems almost like a ritual. All week the two-cycles drone as if paying tribute to the raucous noise at the dirt track.

The mariner lived on a country farm too long. Then, one could actually hear birds singing during the day; on many days, he could actually feel the silence. What the mariner needs is a good passage sail – maybe from St. Croix to Barbados, stopping by St. Kitts and Martinique along the way.

Ancient Mariner

Dismantling the Petro World

The last post implied, if the reader did not take the content as factual, that the future for the western coalition of nations faced a collapse of its economies and would be fortunate to be called second tier nations. The reason that the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations will overwhelm the western economy is because they have the oil, gas, and the population growth to take over the world economy – somewhat like Walmart, Target and CVC moving into a neighborhood. Any local retail outlets that survive will be less than robust for sure.

Aside from nations, the petrochemical industry is the largest set of global organizations in the world. Asking them to go out of business or scale down to ten percent of what they were is not a winning strategy for global warming. Yet this is the fear that those who deny scientific information hear – that the petro economy is a common source of wealth and making the changes in corporate behavior, the way neighborhoods are built, the way every person consumes food, energy, space and nonrenewable minerals must undergo a transformation that challenges capitalism and suggests something more akin to socialism. So, global warming doesn’t exist.

While searching the Internet, the mariner came across an article in the Nation Magazine for November 2011. The article was written by Naomi Klein, a Canadian author who writes books on the climate and its confrontations with capitalism, human nature, and disappearing resources, including the disappearance of national economic policies. Klein’s current book, “This Changes Everything, Capitalism versus the Climate,” is on the best seller list at the moment.

The entire article is available at,2


In the Nation article, Klein makes a six point case that makes a reader think it is easier to climb a cliff covered in ice than to change the petro paradigm:

  1. Reviving and Reinventing the Public Sphere

…Traditionally, battles to protect the public sphere are cast as conflicts between irresponsible leftists who want to spend without limit and practical realists who understand that we are living beyond our economic means. But the gravity of the climate crisis cries out for a radically new conception of realism, as well as a very different understanding of limits. Government budget deficits are not nearly as dangerous as the deficits we have created in vital and complex natural systems. Changing our culture to respect those limits will require all of our collective muscle—to get ourselves off fossil fuels and to shore up communal infrastructure for the coming storms.

  1. Remembering How to Plan

…Every community in the world needs a plan for how it is going to transition away from fossil fuels, what the Transition Town movement calls an “energy descent action plan.” In the cities and towns that have taken this responsibility seriously, the process has opened rare spaces for participatory democracy, with neighbors packing consultation meetings at city halls to share ideas about how to reorganize their communities to lower emissions and build in resilience for tough times ahead.

  1. Reining in Corporations

…But we are also going to have to get back into the habit of barring outright dangerous and destructive behavior. That means getting in the way of corporations on multiple fronts, from imposing strict caps on the amount of carbon corporations can emit, to banning new coal-fired power plants, to cracking down on industrial feedlots, to shutting down dirty-energy extraction projects like the Alberta tar sands (starting with pipelines like Keystone XL that lock in expansion plans).

  1. Relocalizing Production

…Climate change does not demand an end to trade. But it does demand an end to the reckless form of “free trade” that governs every bilateral trade agreement as well as the World Trade Organization. This is more good news —for unemployed workers, for farmers unable to compete with cheap imports, for communities that have seen their manufacturers move offshore and their local businesses replaced with big boxes. But the challenge this poses to the capitalist project should not be underestimated: it represents the reversal of the thirty-year trend of removing every possible limit on corporate power.

  1. Ending the Cult of Shopping

…This growth imperative is why conventional economists reliably approach the climate crisis by asking the question, How can we reduce emissions while maintaining robust GDP growth? The usual answer is “decoupling”—the idea that renewable energy and greater efficiencies will allow us to sever economic growth from its environmental impact. And “green growth” advocates like Thomas Friedman tell us that the process of developing new green technologies and installing green infrastructure can provide a huge economic boost, sending GDP soaring and generating the wealth needed to “make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure…”

The bottom line is that an ecological crisis that has its roots in the overconsumption of natural resources must be addressed not just by improving the efficiency of our economies but by reducing the amount of material stuff we produce and consume.

  1. Taxing the Rich and Filthy

…That means taxing carbon, as well as financial speculation. It means increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, cutting bloated military budgets and eliminating absurd subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. And governments will have to coordinate their responses so that corporations will have nowhere to hide (this kind of robust international regulatory architecture is what Heartlanders mean when they warn that climate change will usher in a sinister “world government”).

Most of all, however, we need to go after the profits of the corporations most responsible for getting us into this mess. The top five oil companies made $900 billion in profits in the past decade; ExxonMobil alone can clear $10 billion in profits in a single quarter…

Naomi Klein pulls no punches in this article in the Nation. The quotes provided here by the mariner provide an insight into her perspective but a great deal of reasoning remains in the article. He recommends that his readers go to the link provided above and discover the whole painting and all the colors in it.

Ancient Mariner

Oneness VII – Person Driven Oneness

Using a person to define reality

Using a person to define fairness

Using a person to define reality.  That person is you. You must be aware of a situation from several perspectives. Very few situations are wrapped around one idea or one condition. You must practice seeing situations using empathy as an interpreter and compassion to create oneness. This may be difficult in our culture today – difficult in that compassion appears to open the door to personal vulnerability; difficult in that you will not be understood by those who must also see the same realities; difficult in that your habits and opinions are ingrained in you.

To help loosen your empathy and compassion as tools in decision making, here is a training technique for you to try: Walk around your neighborhood. The walk will be good for you on its own merit. Look for someone of any age, sex, race, or circumstance to whom you can give a helping hand – no matter how small or large your help may be. It may only be a sentence or two to acknowledge neighborliness. A popular term for this is “passing it forward.” Someone helps a person; that person helps another person, etc. This training exercise makes you focus on the situation of other people rather than simply people-watching. You are the lesser, personal reality; the others are the greater reality. Once you find a person who may need help, quickly determine how you will help that person and give a moment’s thought to whether you are improving the situation or just butting in. The object is to have compassion and take action, not, as the old boy scout story goes, help an old lady across the street whether or not she needs to cross the street.

Sometimes you may have to walk for a long time but if you perform this training exercise regularly, you will find some situations where you can help even if the other person is not present. For example, repacking a trash can on the curb after raccoons have dumped it. Further, you will be amazed how quickly your neighborhood comes to know you personally. You are a neighborhood asset. You will notice others passing it forward. You have changed the neighborhood gestalt! Remember to continue honing your empathy and compassion skills when making decisions of any kind.

Using a person to define fairness.  The key to fairness is not only using empathy and compassion but actually understanding the best process for reconciling personal and greater situations. Besides your own participation, you will need one or more other persons with whom you perceive conflicting realities. “Conflicting” does not necessarily mean argumentative. One can have conflict over which restaurant to visit. Remember that your conflict is the lesser reality. Consider this another training exercise; do not try to right the wrongs of the world at first try. Many will take a mediation/arbitration approach to define fairness. This may work from time to time but mitigation without compassion prevents reconciling situations and achieving oneness.

Often, a profession lends itself to managing only with the personal reality of the individual. As an example, a school principal is autonomous and tends to become autocratic. Organizational and educational edicts may be issued without considering the greater reality that may be affected by these edicts, that is, the greater reality of the teachers, students and parents. A principal may move students or educational policies around in a manner that reflects efficiency from the principal’s point of view but when applied, the move may be unfair to teachers or students. Fairness is an attitude that should always be present in one’s mindset. It is the attitude that kick starts a search for a greater reality.

You will need a bit of social skill to define fairness. Control of the process is important. To identify a few procedural rules, let’s use the earlier example of the employer whose workforce is too expensive:

  1. Know your own feelings about your situation and what causes those feelings.
  2. Engage other persons in a controlled way. If the employer calls a sudden meeting of all the employees, the chances are good that the process for defining fairness will collapse under the weight of anxiety and, because there are many more employees, the tool of equality will yield to mob responses. It may be better for the employer to maintain control of the process by talking with a few trusted employees one-on-one so they are aware of your personal reality and, importantly, that you want to reconcile by including the greater reality of the employees. These few will carry the message to the others for you thereby preventing a confrontation and further, the employees will begin their own processing of rule 1. If you have been honing your compassion on regular walks, you will sense the right way to do things in a compassionate way.
  3. How rule 3 plays out depends on how the employer has managed the employees. If the employer has been fair in the past, rule 3 is almost automatic. If there is personality conflict or any signs of disrespect, rule 3 can become nasty. Seek feedback from those few trusted employees. Seeking to sharpen your compassionate choices, ask about the mood of the employees. Very important to the process at this point is to talk about fair solutions with the trusted employees; you must build empathy in them for your situation even though yours is the personal reality.
  4. Rule 4 is the end game. The employer will prepare an agenda – again with the input of the trusted few. The agenda should be a discussion of solutions, not problems. It is a meeting focused on what is fair. It’s a coming together of understanding what ‘fair’ means, which can be painful even if fair. Compassion should be active in everyone’s mind. Just as the walks produced positive resolution, the employer is in a position to share compassion with the employees.

No question at this time. Second installment of Person Driven Oneness forthcoming. In the meantime, keep walking; perhaps drive around to find places where you can use your personal reality to resolve a few greater realities. Here’s a simple one: ring the bell for the Salvation army.

Ancient Mariner

Oneness Dictionary

Oneness (Definitions)

The mariner has had a number of questions about the use of various words, their context and meaning. Presenting a broad philosophy about how to live better by making better decisions is sometimes heavy reading. What remains to be released is lighter reading. The mariner wants to make sure that key words in the philosophy of oneness are understood before we move on.

What follows is a list of frequently used words and the mariner’s intended use of those words.


ANOTHER’S REALITY A reality or situation that is observed in others. Their realties are accommodated in one’s decisions.
COMPASSION Empathetic awareness of another’s distress and a desire to act in a way to alleviate that distress.
EMPATHY The experience of emotional understanding, shared feeling, and understanding the thoughts of another.
ETHIC A set of moral principles or values that guide behavior.
ONENESS A sense of comfort, satisfaction, and achievement shared between one’s own reality and that of another’s reality. Oneness requires that a decision to resolve an issue is based on the greatest good for all persons involved and further, is a decision that is not driven by personal objectives.
PERSONAL REALITY One’s own reality. Oneness requires that one must focus on an external (greater) reality rather than one’s own. One’s reality is always the lesser reality.
PERSON-BASED DECISION Decisions that are made based on human quality of life as the most important factor. NOT decisions that prioritize assets, profits, or any possession above human quality of life.
REALITY The sum of all circumstances that exist in one’s life at any given moment; the sum of self awareness both internally and externally. Basically, everything that has brought you to the present moment.
SITUATION Similar to reality except a situation is limited to a specific set of circumstances or issues that require a decision.


It is hoped that this short list of specialized words will help. Future posts about Oneness will be laden with practical applications.

Ancient Mariner


Ten Ways to Trim Sails in a Paradigm Shift

The mariner doesn’t have ten ways. He always has been puzzled that one who presents a list of ten items can encompass a subject in ten definitions – no more, no less. The fascination is with the number ten and its influence on how one describes a subject. Other common numbers are three and five. He supposes the five and ten items are influenced by ancient Arabic and Roman counting systems greatly dependent on the number of fingers we have. However, there are numbering systems based on twelve and the infamous binary system based on two, which is the basis for the bar code one sees on any purchase and also the communication skills of a computer. Then there’s texting – a topic worthy of its own space.

So the mariner will use three, which seems reasonable for this space. Most of us, except Governor Perry of Texas, can retain three thoughts about a similar subject. However, none of us can remember the three silly words we’re asked to remember in those dementia tests. One must always have a memory tree at hand for such circumstances. The mariner digresses.

ONE: Stow and secure the boat. Every item in its place, every locker closed and latched. This is an allegory that says know what is important in your life, including family, finance, home and belongings. Take steps to assure that no matter how things may change, the core of your life and happiness will suffer little damage.

Stow and secure the family requires consistent reinforcement of habitual values and practices. If your family principles are led by religious practices, stay with them; even increase them as a purposeful compass. Assure that regular activities continue. If the paradigm shift involves moving to another location and a new job, the first order of business is to stow and secure common activities in the new location. Little league at the old location is ensconced as soon as possible at the new location, etc. Friday night out, a common rehabilitative exercise, must continue uninterrupted at the new location. Children in secondary school especially need additional attention and reinforcement that was not needed at the old location. The reader understands that as the changes of a paradigm shift arrive, the first action is family planning to minimize the effect of those changes.

TWO: Trim the sails. Sails are a metaphor for finances. In a storm at sea, normal sail configuration can change dramatically and involve survival methods not used under ordinary conditions. The same is true of finances – and this is not limited to salaried and retired folks, paradigm shifts occur in all social classes. What may be trimmed is a planned new car, a trip to Disney World, pricey cuisine, buying that island retreat, hosting a big family reunion at Christmas. Place emphasis on paying debt and, if possible, save as much as possible even if it’s only a dollar or two each week. If the cause of the paradigm shift is job loss or layoff, try to keep family activity and values as unchanged as possible and find ways to adjust the budget in unseen ways.

Similar issues arise even when the paradigm shift brings financial success. No matter, the same routines are just as necessary. A paradigm shift is a paradigm shift – stow and lock. Keep family activity as normal as possible.

THREE: Set a new course. No matter how high or turbulent the seas become, one must set a course to navigate through the paradigm shift. The new course may take you to unknown waters. It is important to establish a good compass reading and know your new location on new charts as quickly as possible. It is one thing to be stuck riding a storm at sea for several days and another to change course to move away from the storm.

If the paradigm shift is a new home location, chart the neighborhood, its churches, recreation and other places of interest so that family practices can be restored as soon as possible. If the shift is a new job, quickly determine new daily routines.

As the boat passes the storm, if all has been stowed and locked and sails have been trimmed, it will be easy to restore normal sailing practices. Put some seafood on the grill and sail into the new reality.

That’s three items. If the mariner continues, he must think of two new thoughts so as to reach five items. It may be possible to talk about little things like cap your beverages or put your underwear in a high locker, but he feels further metaphors would only dilute the seriousness of surviving a large change in the reader’s life.

May your sails be full and your winds favorable.

Ancient Mariner