The Week of Living Dangerously

A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is paganism, then at present, at least, I am a pagan. – Zitkala-Sa

So as I said, I was on vacation last week.

Make that, I was off from work at the Banner, last week. Because I worked, ladies and germs, believe me. I worked.

I got off at noon Friday with a daunting task before me: Getting a nearly-finished boat as close to finished as humanly possible by Tuesday morning so that I could help out and be part of a Louisiana Public Broadcasting documentary. And I had to accomplish this feat without the benefit of witchcraft, sorcery or sacrificing Pacific island virgins, which I understand are in short supply nowadays.

Mainly, the boat needed the floorboards completed, and all the bare Spanish cedar needed varnishing and two more coats of paint inside the hull. Now, I knew there was no possible way to get four to six coats of varnish on . . . → Read More: The Week of Living Dangerously

Right Side Up

Houses are but badly built boats. So firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable –- not animal – world, rooted and stationary incapable of transition. The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content hence forward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place.

It is for that reason, perhaps, that, when it comes, the desire to build a boat is one of those that cannot be resisted. It begins as a little cloud on a serene horizon. It ends by covering the whole sky, so that you can think of nothing else. You must build to regain your freedom. And always you comfort yourself with the thought that yours will be the perfect boat, the boat that you may search the harbors of the world for and not find.

– Arthur Ransome, Racundra’s First Cruise

There are three major events in the building of a boat.

The first, which doesn’t apply to me, is the laying of the keel. My boat doesn’t have a . . . → Read More: Right Side Up