Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rushing To The Past
Been thinking about rolling, traditional paddling and the QAJAQ camp I've been attending these past years. I see more and more traditional paddles out on the lake, and other skin on frame boats are showing up at pool sessions. It makes me wonder what is going on here and to look more at why I work on this stuff. I suppose it is a subset of wondering why I kayak at all.

I like being outdoors, I love being on the water, I like sports that require balance and coordination and I like being independent. Kayaking surely fills all those needs. I can do it year round, alone or with a group, and I have an incredible lake at my door step.

I also like hulls and ships. I sailed for many many years, and the appearance of a classic hull always makes me stop and admire it. The days I spent on my Hans Christan, rail down and the bow plunging, are memorable days of bliss. I often look for that same sensation, in microcosm, when kayaking. Often, I just will sit in swells and enjoy the motion and the power of the lake. As to eye appeal: I guess I favor the graceful overhang of a well formed bow even though the blunt end of some models gives a longer water line (like the QCC...but I digress).

What, then, with the Inuit style? Well, I always want to know about origins and roots and how things came to be as they are. Besides, in man's eternal quest to connect to the cosmos, it seems inborn to want to connect to the past. Just doing things in the simplest way also has great appeal to me. Simpler ways, simpler times? Not really. There is nothing simple about living where trees don't grow while having your life depend on being able to build wood framed boats.
There is always, in life, The Great Mystery. Perhaps this is part of it. My job is to enjoy it and marry the old ways with the new. Like bringing together a SOF and a wooden paddle with a neoprene garment with an indoor pool filled with chlorinated water.

Paddle safe...


Michael said...

I like your topic today Silbs. I have to agree that maintaining a link with the past to our lives today and into the future has always struck me as a wise course. It provides us with a foundation to build on. I suspect the sudden disruption some people suffer that cuts them off from their past is what causes many of them to find their lives on the shoals, stranded from the future. They are left with little to build on and begin casting about for meaning and help in strange places.
Paddling sof qajaat using traditional paddles is one way for us to paddle better in my opinion because of that vital link. And that hold even when you move into modern kayaks and paddles.

Silbs said...

Thanks, Michael. You know much more about this topic than do I, and enjoy ready about it when you treat us with one of your stories.