In 400 B.C. Xenophon accompanied Cyrus the Younger's army of Greek mercenaries on their mission to seize the throne of Persia. Through the inevitable disasters of war "the Ten Thousand" were left lost and stranded in enemy territory without food or supplies, a mission or a leader. Their re-organization, and discovery of a way back to the sea, which they know is home, is the core of Xenophon's "Anabasis".
We have over the last two years met and grown to know some wonderful people. It is no surprise that most are, shall we say, in their mature years, and in order to be out larking around in a boat have, by and large, for want of a better term, got their shit together. Also on our drive across the country we have had the privilege of staying with many old friends and for a brief time being a part of their lives. With the proviso that for all of us misfortune or disaster can be merely an accident or illness away, these people have for the most part carved out a dream and lived at least a small part of it. We all develop an internal life narrative and the ability to get the most out of our lives can depend on how we fulfill that narrative, or adjust it as circumstances change. It may be illusion, but a degree of stability and security is tangible in these lives.
Twenty-somethings, our children and their friends, for the most part have not attained this stability and would probably be horrified if they had. Nevertheless it is surely the trajectory they are on for we are all not so dissimilar from the beasts in our basic needs of fire, bed and bone. But for them, post college, is a time without much stability and with room to experiment where relationships, jobs, careers and location are all in flux. For us this is disquieting even unnerving, but surely it is a process as necessary as Xenephon's journey. He could not find his way before, for it could not been revealed until he had been lost. It can be excruciating to watch, but there is little we can do than wait to hear the yell "The Sea, The Sea".