Ever since I’ve been onboard I’ve been thinking about the term “grounded.” If I’ve already written about this, I apologize for the repetition.
As a dancer, we use the term grounded a lot. I think it’s a specific quality of movement, but it’s also a general term to describe someone dancing with strength, intention, even a sense of self. It’s amazing how it can be such a general term but also so specific.
I could dance in a grounded way, but I don’t think that’s how any of my teachers would have described my natural movement quality. In fact, to be grounded took a lot of concentration on my part. I don’t know why, it’s just not something I understood naturally, well, intrinsically.
I think I understand it now. Spending so much time at sea, even when it’s not rocky, you notice the feeling you get as you move about the ship. Even when the ship is in dock, absolutely still, your body just *knows* that it’s not on dry land. As soon as you step off the ship there is that feeling of groundedness. Of stability. Of solidity.
It’s not even about being outside. I remember one night a couple of months ago, a group of us went out to dinner in port and I noticed how different I felt from when I was on the ship. Before that moment I thought this had to do with the fact that I spent all my time inside working and my relief came from being outside. But we were sitting inside a restaurant… it wasn’t the outdoors or nature, it was just a feeling of being rooted, weighted, whatever you want to call it as opposed to noticing all the movement underneath your feet on the ship.
Don’t get me wrong, the feeling of being on the ship isn’t bad… it’s just a little against our nature… it’s natural to float in water, but not for days at a time. And though you do get used to it, it’s still a very noticeable difference when you get on land. You may develop strong sea legs, but your body still wants and delights in being grounded.