On the Process of Voyaging
As I prepare to head out voyaging again, I'm reminded of a blog post I made a week before we sailed south from Vancouver in 2009. Since it fits so well with present circumstances, I'll paste it here:
23 September 2009 | Vancouver
We walked across Granville Bridge the other day to look down on Sequitur moored in front of the False Creek Yacht Club. She is now completely fitted-out and ready to sail out under the Burrard Bridge and over the horizon next week.
As we walked, we spotted a fascinating weathervane mounted on a rooftop just up Howe Street from Sequitur's mooring. It was a sculpture of a horseman dressed in medieval costume riding a horse backwards while engrossed in a book. We were captivated by the image, and we made a note to find the background on it.
Well, this morning, after many blind Google alleys, I finally found reference to it:
Riding high among the rooftops in Vancouver is an unusual sight that awaits the casual viewer looking upward from street to sky; a fifty-eight-inch-high bright copper sculpture of a historical-looking figure riding a lively horse with a ringleted mane, reading a book while sitting backwards. The figure faces the direction of the wind as indicated by the four directionals and the tipped arrow upon which it rests.
Closer investigation reveals this to be Rodney Graham's Weathervane sculpture, which depicts the artist dressed as 16th Century humanist and classical scholar, Erasmus. Absorbed in the solitary activity of reading, the figure is lost in thought and contemplation, not having to worry about where he is going or what lies ahead but, as Rodney Graham puts it, is able to 'ponder on horseback' moving forward but also looking backward, to the past. Rodney Graham based the weathervane on a contemporary anecdote which claimed that Erasmus wrote his most well-known work, The Praise of Folly, on horseback during a journey from Italy to England circa 1510.
No wonder the image fascinated us; we are about to sail off on a folly more absorbed in the process and in the voyage than we are in minutely directing its time and direction. We are confident in Sequitur's ability to take us safely were conditions and circumstances dictate, and in the process, she will lead us to many wondrous places and adventures.
Back to the present. I've moored the past two winters in Gouda, Zuid-Holland, the reputed birthplace of Erasmus. Is there a message here?