Tuesday, January 25, 2011

“The Journey, not the arrival matters.” –T.S. Elliot

In the past I have lamented about the beauty of wood, how it can be shaped, and molded and finished.  I still find it amazing that you can transform a tree into a chair or a salad bowl, or in this case, a surfboard.  But wood is fallible, it can check and warp, snap and burn.  For my brother and his wife they became all too aware of the failings of wood.  Less than two weeks ago, Trevor, and his wife Erin (strange but true), lost everything in a house fire.  Not to worry, they both got out without a scratch, but the shock of losing everything in an instant still lingers.  But with every tragedy, comes hope and eventually happiness.  They have been amazed with the generosity of the people.  Within hours they had donations of furniture, clothes, gift cards and even accommodation.  Later in the week, amidst the rubble and debris both managed to find a few items left relatively unscathed; letters, some scattered photos, and a bamboo fly rod.  Now with insurance they can get new furniture, cutlery and television set, but mementos and keepsakes can never be replaced.  These objects have so much sentiment and emotion attached to them that money just can’t buy.  But tokens of the past serve only to remind us of those events that we felt were important to us or our families, the items themselves had really nothing to the do with the path we took.  Memories of those events are still as strong and as important to our lives as they were when their respective ‘memento’ was sitting on our mantle or hanging on the wall. 
I know that’s the real reason why I loved building this surfboard and can’t wait to build another.  Without sounding too much like Yoda, it’s not the surfboard, but how I got there and the emotion I experienced along the way that was really important.  It’s the look on your faces when you see the board up close that I get a kick out of.  It’s the time I spent with Stu and Lana laboring over the details of board or the late night/early morning when I stripped the clamps off the board with Glen that was really significant. Even last Friday night, when I glassed the board with my wife Erin looking on and counting down the minutes I had left till the epoxy set up was memorable.  I would have to say that the best part about building the board was the time I spent building the board.  So maybe I should build a few more….

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