Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unmanned by my craft...

When I finished up last night, I was pretty excited about my progress. The tabling for the foot of the sail is in place, and the clew and tack patches are sewn down. I can almost see the entire foot of the sail nearing some state of completion. And then in my excitement, I forgot the first rule of sailmaking - you do not talk about sailmaking.

The girlfriend came home from working late, with a gorgeous black and white photograph of traditional gaff-rigged yachts racing, acres of canvas soaring in sweeping, beautiful curves. It was one of those that appear most frequently in dreams. I spouted off about how gorgeous the sails were - I mean look at how well executed they are. These were some of the best sails in the world in an age when traditional materials were still used. It was positively inspiring until...

"I want to hang it up so I can think about what YOUR sail will look like."

"Ummm... well, my sail is a bit different. It's a working sail, so its not as pretty and gracefull and not nearly as huge."

Smiling, she said "that's okay, honey, its not the size that counts, and I'm sure yours will be beautiful, and perfect." and then walked away to hang up the picture. I wrote it off as ignorance for about ten seconds until the words sank in.

Boats, ocean, size. I had just been placated like a child, and suddenly unmanned at the same time!

So that's it. I discuss sailmaking no more. It's a giant mound of canvas with funny lines of stitching running all over it. It's a tent for all you might know. And that picture will hang there, taunting me. And to think I used to really enjoy photos like that.


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