Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sail Away

Mast Rings

More vacation photos - more things I've always wanted to photograph.

What's interesting about these photos is how perfect they are (in that no editing, especially not color, was needed or done) and how perfectly they invoked memories of my childhood.

Growing up my grandfather gave me sailing lessons. For a few weeks every year I would stay at his house and go to sailing camp. After camp and sailing lessons I could stay and play in the pool with the other kids. I usually ate a sun drenched hot "honey bun" from the vending machine not because they were especially good but because after a few hours in the sun they were especially, especially good. I was one tan, tan kid. You know, for a person that doesn't tan, that is.

Dock Bushels

What's funny is, in retrospect, the sailing didn't matter. I mean sure, I'm glad I can sail a boat. I'm thrilled I know the joy of a full sail and the complete and absolutely terrifying joy of a strong gust and a leaning keel, but it doesn't matter.

Every morning before class my grandfather would take me to breakfast. That breakfast place is long defunct. Each and every morning he would get a bacon sandwich - toast with thick slabs of butter wrapped around crispy bacon and some coffee. I don't remember what I got. That also doesn't matter.

Sail Lines

Seemingly a million years later I can still remember what he ate, where we sat, how it felt, what the counters looked like, where the sun came in the windows at 7 a.m., the time we got displaced and had to sit at the diner counter, the way his coffee smelled. Sailing was nice but the time was nicer. It's hard to know what time you spend with people will matter, but he was a person that made things matter (sometimes to your chagrin) and rituals came easily to him - especially if the ritual was eating the same thing every single day.

Crumpled Sail

I'll always love a beautiful sailboat. The craftsmanship is amazing, the details impeccable, the rigging complex and yet so simple.

But I'll always love the time a sailboat brought me closer to my grandfather more.

Sail lines 2

We put his ashes in the sea last week. He went as peacefully as he lived toward the end. And as we were leaving a sailboat sailed right over him, stopped facing directly towards us, turned around, and sailed toward the open sea.

I'll bet someone aboard was eating a bacon sandwich. At least I'd like to think so.


Unknown said...

Ridiculously gorgeous photos, once again. And such a wonderful storyteller you are, I felt like I was enjoying those bacon sandwiches with your Grandfather. ;)

Ashley Sisk said...

These photos take me back. I used to love to sail and I feel like I was there with these pictures. Thanks for sharing.

LeAnna said...

Guh. love this. love them all. but the pictures seem so effortlessly beautiful. and i am in love with your writing.

Life in the Nutbowl said...

These pictures make my heart ache more than you could ever imagine. It makes me miss sailing as a kid and Summers with my Grandmother on the coast of Maine.