Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Club: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

We really love this book, a historic fictional account of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch, who lived through desolating loss and poverty, teaching himself math, Latin, French, and more, while working as an indentured servant in Salem, MA in the late 1700s. We made food from Revolutionary War-era recipes (adapted a bit), mapped his travels around the world, tested our knowledge of the parts of a ship, then discussed the book's themes.

I was not alone in finding his journey inspiring and the motto "sail by ash breeze" visual and therefore memorable. To "sail by ash breeze" is to get out and row your ship when there is no wind to fill the ship's sails. Throughout his life, he had multiple reasons to give in to desolation, but instead he kept plowing along, determedly and doggedly. The lessons were about persistence, learning, passion, and using one's gifts to help others. We also talked about the definition of "success" and whether a life that ended up being less acclaimed would be as satisfying. A good conversation for a wonderful book.

Caryn's fabulous cards (some shown below) helped guide the discussion... and it was, as usual, fabulous just to play, talk and be together with such a great group.

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