Battening My Hatches

This is for Cindy, because when I posted a link to this flag on her blog, I think the link didn’t work. And also because when I looked through my old blog to find the flag, I realized that He-Man wasn’t the only one drawing in tons of spam. So I’m slowly going to be transferring some of the old blog posts here (although most of them will be backdated.)

And also because this one seems oddly relevant, yet again. From the old blog, June 1, 2005:

In order to truly see a thing, we must understand it. An armchair implies a human body, its joints and members; scissors, the act of cutting. What can be told from a lamp, or an automobile? The savage can not really perceive the missionary’s Bible; the passenger does not see the same ship’s rigging as the crew. If we truly saw the universe, perhaps we would understand it.

— from “There are More Things” Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (Trans. by Andrew Hurley)

Ah, Borges, I love you. You’re dead, but I love you anyway. I love lots of dead people, but not in a gross way. I’ll save necrophilia for my books.

You see, Borges, here’s the thing: I’m part of a crew on a ship called ROMANCE NOVELS—she’s a fine, pretty ship. Sometimes, I’m a passenger. And sometimes, I jump ship and take a cruise on LITERARY FICTION or HORROR or SCI-FI (that ship is more of a spaceship, but the terminology is all the same: starboard is starboard; plot is plot). I like those ships, too, quite a bit.

Oh, but when I’m on those ships you wouldn’t believe the things I hear about the ship ROMANCE NOVELS. Some of the things are true, but some of them are only true because, from across the water, the ship looks different than to someone who sees it as a passenger or a crew member.

Yes, it is true that every once in a while ROMANCE NOVELS springs a leak. Quite a few leaks, actually (but I wager the same thing happens on every ship). Every ship has its own shit to deal with; in the lower holds, wading through a few inches (a few meters?) of water isn’t uncommon.

And, yes, it is true that ROMANCE NOVELS was built with certain conventions; the passengers and crew of other ships call them formula and claim that the same storylines pervade all romance novels: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl live happily ever after. I can’t argue that truth; all I can say is that close up, there is an infinite variety of ways to tell that story, and that the ability of the crew to work within those conventions constantly surprises me.

It is almost like being told: here, take this fabric and make a ship’s flag—but you have to use red (heroine) blue (hero) and purple (HEA) as part of the color scheme. Kinda like this:

I don’t blame them for imagining that this is the only kind of flag that can be made—they don’t see the ship like I do. The colors do sound pretty limiting, at first; but shades of red can run from pink to crimson; blue from periwinkle to cerulean; purple from lavender to …uh, really dark purple. And there’s no rule that you can’t use other colors, too.

So, Borges, I’ve made a flag, and I’m climbing the rigging to place it atop the mast, so that every person on those other ships can see it. I’m sticking to the rules, too. Whaddya think?

Hehehe. Okay, I don’t really think that. Wait a second—I do think that about people who dismiss my ship without ever having taken a trip on it. But people who have tried, but just got a little seasick? Those guys are okay.

…

God, my Photoshop skeels RULE!