Friday, March 4, 2016

Is It Garbage, or a Dream from God?

Hey, inspiration is unpredictable. It's where you find it. Here's a guy; no doubt, dirt poor - lives in a town that hasn't seen prosperity in over a century - a garbage strewn, desperate, hardscrabble backwater of a place on the Eastern coast of Africa. But he's got a bit of education, a sharp mind, and a whole lot of imagination and spirit. And he's right, what floats on to the beach from the outside world isn't just garbage, isn't only an eyesore and health hazard' it's a potential a raw material. Beauty and raw materials are in the eye of the beholder and my man, Mansoor, here sees positive floatation, the makings of a hybrid houseboat and vehicle with which to explore life's opportunities in the flotsam that's accumulated thigh deep on the beach. Is there an important lesson to be learned here? Something to do with recycling, maybe? Something to do with sky's the limit Do It Yourself ism? Something to do with the unsinkable spirit of humanity seeing a way out of the cesspool it's turned its world into?

He calls his project a "Dream from God." I call it human creativity, an inspired reaction to negative conditions that might hold others down, but not he, a dreamer and hard working inventor, the shaper of his own universe and destiny. He's got an idea and a dream and enough freedom and undeterred will to pursue them. And that makes him richer, I think, than many a verifiably wealthy man.

All right, all right, this craft looks more like the collection of trash from which it's made than Donald Trump's yacht. So what? I'm with Mansoor, this thing is beautiful in its own way. Is it 'see worthy'? Certainly some of it is, the ways he's joined old tires and hundreds of discarded plastic bottles into a hull and cabin, the way the light passes through the bottles from which the deck and cockpit are constructed, the way the thing floats and promises never to sink... all beautiful.

We see a few seconds of him in this video 'sailing' Century, the name he's given his craft because the plastic we humans manufacture and throw away soon after will not break down for so long, nor will it sink. There he goes... out on the water, moving his ship with crudely made paddles that he's also crafted from garbage. Ah, but to be moving under one's own power, to have a place to sleep and dream, a place built from nothing with one's own hands; there's nothing, nothing like it.

Here comes Captain, Mansoor clad in unwashed rags, paddling his dignified, unsinkable dream of a boat made from garbage that washed up on the Kenyan shore. Hats off!

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