How do You Know When There’s Too Much Wind?

June 22, 2010

From my window where I should be writing, I’m watching a sailor.

He’s hoisted his crisp white main sail, rimmed with a smaller triangle of ink; ten inches of black noir, like a contemporary dinner plate. It’s late, around eight; odd thing, being on the lake at full mast after dark.  He’s losing wind fast during this static air night. I know he should consider bringing both sails down before dark, yet for some reason he resists and both are billowed full.

Just another boat, but this sailor caught my fancy.   While most of the windmen around here boast main sails bearing flashes of gaudy color, angular rainbow stripes and the like — this one is remarkable.

The attire? Simple and clean. A garment Jackie Onassis Kennedy (or her sister) would have worn: not too much color, a subtle statement in a Walmart world.

An elegant dress for a windy day.

It reminds me of writing, how as authors we are tempted to pack our manuscripts with ancillary words, and how sometimes, we need an oddly placed reminder that one well-chosen word is better than many bright sails.

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