Not Wanted on the Voyage / Being “on the team”

<drafted Oct. 12/10>

Not Wanted on the Voyage is the name of a novel by the awesome Canadian writer Timothy Findlay. I have not, alas, read the novel – but I will, I will!! It’s definitely on the list…

I get a kick out of highjacking the phrase “not wanted on the voyage” to articulate a feeling/phenomenon I think probably all of us feel from time to time.

I suspect there are times for all (or surely most) of us when we feel positively “not wanted on the voyage.” Not wanted, period. It hurts, doesn’t it? It hurts, & it sucks.

I’ve had (& have) my fair share of this nasty little feeling. The particulars are not important – because even though my own bouts of it are very personal (they certainly feel very personal to me!!), the phenomenon is (I believe) universal among this odd biped species to which we belong. (Maybe there are yet a few fortunate tribes remaining on Planet Earth where the “old ways” still prevail – where life is a communal kind of a deal & no one ever has to feel lonely, left out & un-needed. Ah, would that it were so…)

I think, though, that loneliness & alienation are pretty darn widespread.

This thought comes up over & over again – & I’ve certainly mentioned it in other blog postings (e.g. Looking Stupid; Everything is All About ME…right?).

I have nothing new or brilliant to say on this score, btw – sorry about that! It’s just kind of roiling around inside me lately – due to a few recent personal circumstances (unavoidable & really, too, not anyone’s “fault”).

Yet, I know it’s also not “personal”; it’s “political” – about as political as can be.

We all want (& desperately need!) to belong – to feel accepted, affirmed, loved, needed.


I think we are mostly like a dog chasing the wrong tail (or obliviously chasing its own tail) in order to find what we really need.

I was listening to CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi interviewing rock icon Robert Plant on the Q show on September 30th. It was a really interesting interview (to find it, go here & then scroll down to ‘Robert Plant’). At one point, Plant said he had just “wanted to be on the team.” In other words, mere fame & fortune were not “enough.”

And I thought, “Yeah. Well…we all want to be “on the team,” don’t we??”

And so many of us seem to feel – in a crazy variety of ways & for a stunning number of reasons – that we are decidedly not “on the team.”


And ahhhhhhhh….

It’s so sad. Sad, but also so very, very poignant

Now, I have, as I’ve mentioned, my fair share of “not wanted on the voyage” moments. Due to the ever-recycling “fun” of divorce (not!), this is not likely to come to a sudden end anytime soon.

At least, though, I mostly – most often – feel very much part of the team. My tribe or team is the environmental activist team (I had to seek out this team, btw; it didn’t come to me along with the family porridge, or the family Kool-Aid, you might say).

We’re a pretty cool bunch. Stubborn…feisty…opinionated…independent – & also considerable pains in the neck at times, no doubt. All “bozos on the bus,” just like everyone else on the planet, hmmm?

We’re an expansion team, though, & there will never be any end to the work & challenges on our plates. We are never, ever, ever going to have to suffer from boredom.

(Heh heh heh.)

I suppose that’s why we have to have fun at it. We have to enjoy the work – the challenges. Otherwise, we’d go nuts!

So, lucky me, I don’t very often have to feel “not wanted on the voyage.” I am wanted, needed, & very, very grateful to be “on the team.” (Honoured, actually, ‘cos I get to hang out with the most utterly awesome people. It’s true!)


p.s. There are plenty of openings! By all means, come & join the party!!!

p.p.s. some thoughts about men being team players here.

Quote of the dayw. this post: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell, US folklorist & expert on mythology (1904 - 1987)