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I Know

a_british_man_of_war_before_the_rock_of_gibraltar_by_thomas_whitcombe

I know.

I know the sea. I know their names. I know where the water run still and deep. And I know where the ship will run aground. I know my crew; their strength, their weakness, their loyalty. I know what they feel when the colors are hoisted. I know where their faith is.

I know which route to take. I know which way the winds blow. I know how long it will take to see land again. And I know what will be waiting when we get there. I know when to raise the sails, yes, when to raise the top-gallants; and when to bring them in. I know which storms the ship can brave, and the ones it can’t.

I know the exact point to start turning the rudder; to bring the ship about in an offensive, yet defensive position. I know my ship has 100 guns. And I know their reach, their strength, their destructive force when fired at just the right range. I know that a missed shot puts you in danger. And a well placed one can still put you in danger.

I know the speed of my ship. I know when to chase, and when to retreat. I know how to lie in wait, how to hide my ship in plain sight, and the exact moment to make my move.

I know, in all my knowing how capture a ship. I know every maneuver there is, every order of steps, what it takes for sure success. I have proven them. And I know them like I know my own name.

I know, however.

That 100 successes does not guarantee the 101st. That doing something 1000 times does not guarantee you won’t screw up the 1000 and 1st. I know how absurd it is; that you can know all there is to know, but without execution it makes no difference. I know, how even more absurd it is, that you can know everything, and do everything right; and still fall short at the end.

I know of the unknown. But it’s still unknown. I know it can be crippling, as well as thrilling at the same time.

I know.

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