Amongst all the American management titles that start with Chief and end in Officer I was the CIO, Chief Information Office, of a global company full of life and resources. I was responsible for IT and Business Development and in practice this meant attending hundreds of conferences, sitting in thousands of meetings, making a magnitude of decisions and answering a never ending stream of e-mails. I got up (at the crack of dawn/with the first rays of sunlight) and went to bed when the moonlight shone through the curtains. I was full of energy and couldn’t have had it better.
Then one day in July we stood at the harbor in Santorini; Tommy, myself, our two children (which would later become three) among a mass of carefree tourists also waiting to take the ferry to Naxos. Most of those around us were happy families and couples photographing each other in the sun, but I did not partake in the cheerfulness. I like calm lakes with water lilies and perch, not boats, sea and gales.
An hour later I was in the archipelago sitting in a corner on the top deck with a sick bag. I stumbled over to the railing and lay down trying to think about something else than how terrible I felt. It is not often one is lying on a floor and thinking, life is not constructed like that but from the floor I looked out over the sea. A short distance away I saw a sail with a large blue Sea Horse, hugely inflated in the powerful gale. (I would later learn that it was a Benétéau sail). With the Sea Horse nodding in time to the waves my thoughts moved on to horses instead. Free and adaptable animals which have always been my life’s passion. So then I thought: this cannot go on. I must be able to do better than this.
2015 on Söder in Stockholm
The Seamstress Yung Ja went around the outskirts of the room. Spread out on the floor of her workshop lay a 50 square meter used sail in woven polyester which I bought from Gransegel in Nacka. In the past one made sails from nettles, silk and hemp but today different forms of synthetic material are often used. A fantastic and durable material but rarely recycled. We can do better, I said to Yung, for us, for others and the environment and we will start at the stables. It is time for a few changes there. OK, said Yung, cool, what shall we do?