Degrees of Freedom

Degrees of Freedom.

Sometimes a man has a dream, the kind that does not go away. He lies awake at night, and even during the day, bits and pieces of the dream take shape. The dream was a holiday around the Whitsunday Islands. The thing that was taking shape was a family sailboat.

cid You ask about the name. Well, I was studying at the time, doing a degree in Social Science. It was a lecture in research methods or something like that. It was hot, and as lecture theatres usually are, it was stuffy.
My mind drifted to the islands where it would not be stuffy. I could feel the gentle tropical breeze drift across the bow of my boat. Not sure what the lecturer was saying, but a single phrase degrees of freedom kept intruding into my mental holiday, until, hey, that’s a great name for my boat.

Some men like to fix things. Some men like to make things. Now of course some men do both, but I am a maker. I once had a classic sports car; did all my courting in it; sat the child seat alongside (it didn’t have seat belts) for my son’s introduction to wind-in-the-hair motoring; later our two sons used to squeeze into the space behind the bucket seats. Had it long enough for it to need fixing. Then it was exchanged for a complete chassis, performance engine, racy gearbox, ready for me to make a fibreglass roadster body. Like I said, I am a maker not a fixer.

Makers or fixers – all men are dreamers. Someday I am going to … and they drift off into that dreamlike state that makes some tune out and others tune in.  And, among these ‘some-day’ plans, as often as not, there will be a boat. And with a boat, an ocean, a sunset, and yes, a tropical island with white beach sand and palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze. Well, that is how it was with me – a dream boat.

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Merv was a teacher, trainer and therapist using the Human Givens approach to emotional health. He is the first Australian qualified in this revolutionary treatment method, and since retiring from private practice, spreads his time between running an online course in psychotherapy and sailing his yacht.

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