So I didn't pirate as a child. The one experience I had-- wait, no, two experiences I had-- with pirating were tragic. Yet, its siren song was not to be resisted: I found myself an active pirate shortly after college.
Fact is, I've actually been pirating a few years now, fifteen or so, and I'm really quite good at it-- if other pirates and the general public are to be believed. When I was up north, I never sought out pirating adventures; I seemed to receive phone calls whenever a pirate worth her salt was required, and joined those pirating groups that pleased me. Now that I'm in Florida, I'm not terribly well-known in this small circle of pirates, but the pirates I've met have been respectful and complimentary, to say the least.
Many people seem to think pirating is a job that doesn't require a great deal of intelligence or knowledge. But really, it's like any other skilled position-- the smarter one is, and the broader one's base of knowledge, the better one can be. In fact, I can honestly say that this seems to apply more to pirates than to the majority of career callings out there.
And as for the myth that being a pirate only pays well if you're one of the top pirates... that the lesser pirates tend to struggle; often giving up the pursuit of pirating for safer and more lucrative careers... well, that's not necessarily true. Only a very few reach the eschelons of Really Big Piratehood, and their names are known world-wide, but truth is, many pirates make solid livings being pirates, even if it's not a life in the lap of luxury that the top 2% enjoy.
I've been taking a class-- really, it's just a group of us that meet once a week-- that focuses on relationships: relationship with the self, relationship with others, and relationship with one's bliss. And even though we're still in the first section, it occurred to me that pirating is my bliss. It's what I talk about. It's what makes me shine. It's what I'm good at without really trying, but in the same breath, is so alluring that I'm always honing my skills.
Well, I was talking to Paul about further improving my skills as a pirate, and how there's not much in the way of professional pirating classes in our little neck of the woods. Specifically, I want assistance and training in how to move like a pirate-- I already talk like a pirate pretty well (though I'm working on this independently through books and the like-- I find it easier to work on this aspect through independent study, but would prefer to have a facilitator for movement). At about the same time, the class I'm taking was also talking about mind/body awareness techniques and how these can combat stress.
Joseph Campbell, mythologist and one of my personal heroes says: “When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.”
Lo and behold, that very week, I found a flyer for a master one-day class at the local college, not five minutes away-- where I happened to be doing some pirating, actually-- on how to move like a pirate. This particular technique is well-known for its ability to improve mind/body awareness, as well. And it was free, and open to the public.
Now, this class is currently full, but if it's a nice day, I wouldn't be surprised if a few pirates dropped out to enjoy the sunshine. Pirates are notorious for being like that. I'm going to leave a message with one of the facilitators that I'm available as a last-minute addition if this is the case.
The class is tomorrow. Even if I don't attend, I've made a decision: I want to pursue pirating as a profession. Perhaps even as a full-time career.
Wait-- did I say "pirating?" Whoops! All this time, I've meant "acting." :) Arr!