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Nearer My God To Thee (Published originally in August 2015)

Updated: May 19, 2022

*Editor's Note: I wrote this a long time ago, before I was on medication and in truth largely suffering from a mental breakdown due to the loss of my nonprofit and foreclosure of my home. I edited this and tried to make it more "sane" sounding, but the feeling it conveys I hope gives the reader insight into my mania and my return to faith. And through it, I hope to show you the mind with ADHD.

I have recently been asked to testify as to how I found God. Or, in Born Again terms, how I came to know Jesus. Well, I'm not born again, I don't think. I was born once, christened once, and always a child of the Lord.

Now I am a man. While I have sometimes wandered away from the footprints in the sand and at times, failed to follow the lead of the Lord, I have never ever lost His guidance and always felt His hand on my shoulder.

I believe God gives us the vessel, but it is ours, to row for the shore. And so I have always been hesitant to allow myself to fully give myself to God's will. That was, until that day in November.

The day started beautifully. Crystal clear skies, a gentle breeze out of the North and flat calm seas, temps in the 50s. I knew that the winds would pick up later that day, but my thoughts were at the time, "This is the perfect time of year to sail on Long Island Sound."

It was by all accounts a perfect day to sail from Guilford to Bridgeport, single-handed in a 27' sailboat. Or so I thought.

The Bridgeport Boat Basin

My mission was clear. Connecticut Community Boating (CCB), my mission on earth here to for in my life, was in trouble. We had one more boat that the City had yet to steal from us, and our dock was still in place in the Bridgeport Boat Basin. Our lawyer had drafted a Cease and Desist letter to the City of Bridgeport who had threatened earlier that month to illegally seize our facility and fleet and had made good on that threat earlier in the week, by illegally seizing all our boats and storing them at Captain's Cove.

But the dock was still there. I was aiming to make a big public display in protest by sailing back onto our now illegally cleared dock, with the last remaining vessel we had, and walk across the waterfront downtown with the legal notice straight up to the City Attorney's office.

I had called the press and the cops and notified both of my intentions. The press were waiting for a move from the cops, but the cops weren't moving for justice, so neither was the press. One reporter from Channel 12 news was planning to arrive when I made landfall in the vessel and would film my walk-up to the City Attorney's office.

I always loved to make a scene. But I had to arrive on time if they were going to be there. And so at 6 AM, I met with one of my Board members who had possession of the vessel and left my car in Guilford by the train station.

I figured I would take the train back after my voyage down the Sound and pick up my car - one of the many perks of having a public access boating facility right by a municipal train station. Why they shut it down I will never know.

Just the same, I started out and was driven down to the beach where I would canoe out to the mooring where the 27-foot Hunter was being moored. She bounced like a top on the waves, and the fresh breeze made her look as if she was a bronco waiting to be let loose in the stall.

I could also see a brown beard of growth on her waterline, indicating to me that she hadn't moved much that summer. Other than the seaweed skirt she wore, she seemed to be a sound vessel and no worse for the neglect that summer.

Climbing aboard the rocking vessel from a tippy canoe was a bit like landing on an aircraft carrier drunk - you waited for the roll and hoped you caught the line at the right time to pull yourself aboard, but expected to be dead if you missed.