Art is nurtured in tribes. An early tribe of mine was Four Winds/Westward Ho Camp, where sailing, art, music, dance & community shaped summers into times of magic. Carlyn Kaiser Stark hired me as her youngest staff member and I went to work teaching art & dance as a teen, learning to sail a variety of watercraft and writing music for newfound friends. My life was transformed by the wonders of the 1907 schooner Martha, and the embrace of talented people gathered to share a love of the water and woods. It was a world apart. We lived in tents learning the ways of the sailing community & power of song and tradition to unite a group across generations. After 43 years, I have reconnected to find that the sails of creativity hoisted there have helped some of us ply the winds of change up to the present.
Scott Lochridge, Martha's First Mate under Captain Miles McCoy was a pivotal presence. A talented sailor and musician, he was a patient, engaging teacher with a thoughtful nature and buoyant goodwill shown towards all. He was the kind of person who didn't forget the little kids, the awkward kids, the ones that hadn't found their spot. He led a band after evening chores, and those of us who played would jam late into the night, our songs carried across the sound of Orcas Island. I found Scott again because of his recent book, "Enlightment Incorporated: Creating Companies Our Kids Would Be Proud to Work For", which invites American businesses to transform the tumult of current economic reality into enterprises that can sustain our future and give our children a livable legacy. This fits the person I remember who introduced young sailors to the thrill of a boswain's seat blasting its arc across open water while when heeling hard over into the sunset in the Straits of Georgia. From Scott, kids learned to man the sails and maintain headway, pitching in, instead of staying passively on the sidelines. He could see the wind on the water ahead, and still does.
And I am still who I was, one who senses the current below the waterline, navigating by internal radar for relational maps with others. Then with songs, now, with concepts for helping people reconnect to the art in their hearts which like the Puget Sound, is a current deep and wide and led by larger seas of change. Although we became friends as musicians, the true north of my compass remains art. Wind and water and hardship has made each of us better people, more equipped for standing up for what is sensible and humane, even if this happens only one channel at a time. An old saying goes: "You can't change the wind, but you can adjust your sails."
What tack are you on with the creativity in your life? What beauty do you leave in your wake?