Sunday, April 16, 2006


A thousand mile trek is but one step at a time; so the ancient Chinese proverb goes, but when you take two steps forward and one step back it takes twice the time! That’s what’s happening in my pilgrimage of building a Paradox micro-sailboat. Perhaps that’s not an accurate analogy, but certainly my march is not in a straight line, neither is it with a constant beat of left, right …… left, right, until reaching my destination, i.e., a finished sailing boat ready for the water.

On some days progress is negligible, but on others it is perceptible. I want to be at the end of the journey, and yet I want to enjoy the experience, and paradoxically prolong it. Just entering the garage where the rib cage is almost ready for assembly, that’s four frames and a transom, I smell the pleasant fragrance of wood shavings. My heart beats more fervently at the prospect of the next challenge and I set my mind on achieving an objective before giving up for the day. Just one step will be in the right direction towards the goal, but with many such steps the task will be accomplished.

The mindset is not to think of the many steps, but rather to concentrate on making the current step well. I must do it with adroitness, without error; whether it’s measuring, cutting or fixing, all must be done to the best of my ability. There can be no place for slipshod work; nothing but the best within my ability will suffice. Only then can my steps be achieved with satisfaction.

For those undertaking a boat building project with any substance where duration and commitment are required, a certain mindset is adopted that may be compared with that of a long distant runner, irrespective of the pain, difficulties and setbacks; all effort is focussed on finishing. Getting there is all important.

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