From the Boatshop
2001 - not a SPACE odyssey
by Ron Magen
I tried to write this column at least six times.
Every time I found a theme, something else came up.
Before I realized it the month was gone. There were many things that I
wanted to say; that needed to be said.
This year has indeed met the definition: “ . . . an
extended wandering or journey”.
We started not even knowing who our President was. The
process of the decision was filled with a great deal of animosity and
acrimony, almost to the point of religious fanaticism. Regardless of
anyone’s personal view, once it was adjudicated by a court of law, once it
was finished it was OVER. It was accepted and the country, and the world,
The year is ending with the compass needle swinging to
the opposite pole. We have seen the horrors that a good deal of the world
has been experiencing visited on our shores. Many parts of the globe do
not abide by the rule of law and consensus. For whatever reason they can
not seem to ‘agree to disagree’ and move on for the betterment of their
For some reason I have been strangely unemotional about
what transpired on September 11th, even though I was watching it laterally
from the actual beginning. It may be due to the fact that the ‘visual
technology’ of today bombards us with images of damage and destruction on
a regular basis, to the point of it being a ‘video game’ commercial. Maybe
it is a case of ‘information overload’. Or it could be that there is
something closer to home that is in my heart. I have been caring for one
of our family who not at all well. Our 14-year old Malamute, effectively
our son, is dying. In his perspective he is well over 100, but it doesn’t
make it any easier for him, my wife, or myself.
When I read ‘threads’ and comments that have vicious
attacks on opponents of such issues as ‘Which wood is best?’, ‘Polyester
or Epoxy ?’, and other arcane issues that may effect the design and
construction of a ‘Supertanker’ but have no point on any amateur endeavor,
it makes me feel very sad.
Thanksgiving has just passed. Last night, on a certain
History Channel program, the comment was made that Americans are the most
‘movable’ people on earth. On average we move about 11 times during our
lives. Why? Because it is so EASY . . . we don’t need any ‘papers’, our
states are not ‘borders’, even the very poorest have access to some form
of transportation that can take us from coast to coast and Canada to
Mexico. When our leaders make a law we can change it, or them; we have the
opportunity every four years. We do it on a regular basis WITHOUT the use
of force or firearms. We have the ability to assemble and discuss and
argue and yell and scream - out where everyone can see, not hidden in some
dark corner; in fact many seek out the bright light of the public news
camera. We are free to have any ‘belief system’ we want, and espouse that
belief to anyone who will listen. We are free to grieve, each in our own
way. Has anyone given thanks for these so very simple and common things?
Are they taken for granted, for us?