As anyone who’s crossed it will tell you, the Atlantic is a very big ocean. I know, because I crossed and re-crossed it as a merchant seaman.
But my most recent transatlantic adventure has been quite different.
Not for me the ocean’s harsh, wet, winter winds and wild waves. Cocooned in the comfort of my own home, I’ve been travelling through time and space, trading ideas and information with a Canadian wood turner whose creative skills make maple sing.
Paul Ross and I were brought together by ’26’, a writers’ collective that numbers me amongst its many more than 26 members.
A unique marriage
Together with 25 other arts, crafts and wordsmith pairings – all given a similar job in various media – Paul and I were tasked with marrying his manipulation of maple with my ability to respond to his work with a literary construct of exactly 62 words: a sestude.
Separated as we are by three-and-a-half thousand miles, it seemed an impossible task.
But hey, we live in a technological world!
Emails flew. Questions were posed. Answers returned. Concepts were revealed and ideas were latched onto. A relationship was established.
As the days passed, Paul’s ‘Star Bound’ became my sestude. The task was completed.
Between us we had united our skills and created something utterly unique: an object made of wood and finished with thread, married to 62 carefully chosen words knitted together in exactly the right order.
A course stayed
Unlike my earlier Atlantic crossings, this has been a different kind of adventure.
At times, I thought I was losing my way. I couldn’t find my compass and – changing course too often – it seemed as if I was headed for oblivion.
But Paul’s ‘Star Bound’ was constant. I had only to return to its substance and explore its mysteries to find a way to my destination.
You can see the results of our journey, and download a free copy of the resulting book featuring all twenty-six connections, at: www.26.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/26AC-ebook.pdf
Sadly, the delightful video shot at a recent exhibition held in Picton, Ontario, has been taken down by The Wellington Times. Maybe they don’t keep things on their site for long. If so that’s a shame, because I think you would’ve enjoyed it.
I will be in Ontario for the upcoming Studio Tour; a weekend when Prince Edward County’s creative community opens its doors to the public.
It’s bound to be a lot of fun. Much more so than weathering a January force nine in the middle of the Atlantic.