The Space Between Method and Madness
“ … all great things are created in the space between method and madness.”
This past weekend Alex and I kayaked back to the La Chua Trail observation deck to camp and finish what we had started. Storms were forecasted throughout the weekend, but our minds were set: no amount of rain was going to change them. Like soldiers marching toward an inevitable battle, we paddled out.
The impending storm accelerated nightfall, and we soon found ourselves paddling in the dark. Despite having recently kayaked to the observation deck, the ever-changing nature of the landscape combined with the darkness made navigation difficult.
Our intuition (confirmed by a quick Google Maps check) told us to continue northeast, and so we did, all the while discussing our biggest fears, which consisted of variations of scenarios involving alligators and sinking. We eventually made it to the deck and proceeded to unload our gear and tie up the boats.
We were prepared to get wet, but neither of us anticipated the wind. There were moments throughout the night when every fiber in my tent trembled under such force that I was certain it was going to fly away with me inside. The observation deck creaked and wiggled, the kayaks smacked around (I was worried they’d be gone in the morning), and thoughts of doubt rang through my head. At one point I pulled out my phone to make sure it wasn’t actually a hurricane that was passing through.
My alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., but I was already awake. I packed up my camera gear first, making sure it was safe and secure from the rain; the rest didn’t matter. I then changed into my wet clothes, climbed outside and began breaking down my tent.
It was an eerily beautiful day—not the type of beauty that’s associated with sunny blue skies, but a real beauty, a raw beauty, an authentic beauty not of the surface but of the very core, the very essence. The world was alive and wild and mad and it paid us no mind. We appreciated it for a while before loading up and taking off.
Last night while I was watching a series on Netflix called Mindhunter, one of the characters said, “I think all great things are created in the space between method and madness,” and it got me thinking about my and Alex’s recent adventure.
Some would probably argue that paddling out into alligator-infested water at night while navigating without a GPS toward a flooded deck to camp in a storm is well into madness territory. And I agree there is certainly a level of madness involved. But what that person doesn’t see is the method leading up to this point.
The truth is Alex and I tested our ability to kayak to the dock a month ago in the day time. We made notes during that trip that prepared us even more for this one. Our repeated adventures into the Ocala National Forest have taught us the limits of ourselves, of our gear, and, almost more importantly, of each other.
I do not advocate recklessness; you have to be smart. But you also have to be a little mad. That’s the space where inspiration lives. That’s the space where great memories are made.