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On Canoeing

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read
Photo by David M. Chambers / Unsplash

When you are in a canoe, the only way you're going to get anywhere is through paddling.

But how do you paddle? If you want to go somewhere, you’re always course-correcting.

Did you want to head for that pine tree? Then you may have to paddle on the right, and then the left, and then the right again. You may have to fight the wind and waves occasionally. Sometimes you may even have to rest.

Also, you can’t go everywhere. There’s only so much time in the day. Pick one place and go there.

But if you keep at it—even if you are pushed backwards sometimes—eventually the conditions might change, and you can get back on track.

What if the conditions never change? Do you find another path? Sure, it might take longer, but if you get to your destination, isn’t it worth it?

But what if all the external forces are working against you? The wind is too strong, the waves too high, and some asshole in a speedboat keeps driving at your boat?

Do you need a new destination? Do you give up? Or do you not even canoe? Maybe walking is the way to go?

Or is it about the destination? Maybe it’s just about canoeing and nothing else matters.

It’s up to you.

Photo by SaiKrishna Saketh Yellapragada on Unsplash


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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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