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Dakota Center for Independent Living

John’s Sail Tale

Oh, the Missouri River through North Dakota…. my, yes, last summer I made a 38 day descent from Montana to Central, ND. Sacajawea Reservoir is a trip; as is Oahe. But enough about that…. What about the sail, my propulsion?? Wind can be perplexing; contrary, it can test ones patience, acceptance. I decided my sail was too important to not be acknowledged in a manner worthy of its importance. And so, by borrowing heavily from Native American symbolism, I began coloring the sail in a way I felt fitting. It didn’t happen all at once. It began about three years ago. I created three primary circles growing larger, top to bottom. Bottom is six feet across. All of them are meaningful to me. I won’t interpret them for you. We must use our imagination, however, I will say that the emphasis is on the sun, the four directions, the four winds. After over 100 days of voyaging this winter, I decided to recolor some of the fading areas. And…well…one thing led to another. And again, I humbly say the results amaze even me. I filled in all the voids, feathers, vines. Such vibrant color; so if I were to describe it in one word: LIFE. Plain and simple, to gaze on it under a fair wind, in God’s world….my dog and I…I cannot deny, life is good. That is the tale of a sail. This is only part of my tale. Incidentally, a horse struck me on my cycle 5 years ago at 60 mph on a highway. I was ejected sideways into a ditch, shattering my skull in the process. Horse died, but gave me the courage to live. And I do…