I grew up hard by the granite rock and deep clam muds of a New England harbor where having a boat was to own the world.  No matter what your age. I had one then. And I still do.

So I know a boat holds a world of miracles. But it’s not all that often you get to gather so many in one place. The brilliant and generous Donn Costanzo of Wooden Boatworks said yes to investigating a website, when I suggested we explore it.  Thus began our astonishing maiden voyage into the pixel sea.  It’s taken us, and that now means a wide-ranging crew of a dozen people, almost two years to bring ‘round the story of Wooden Boatworks and their work in yacht restoration.

We thought brochure, we have a website. Born in the print world, we molted our print-feathers and came out flying into the dynamic world of the web, that electronic performance art which is forced to capture attention in time, with dancing visuals and peppery prose.  We created a three-minute video with Tom Garber of Third Wave Films; we were blessed by the spectacular photography of Peter Braune, Bridg Hunt, Benjamin Mendlowitz, Donn and Linda Costanzo, Bruce Wahl, the painting of Cindy Pease Roe and others who find wooden boats’ beauties irresistible.  We had generous technical counsel from web designers, friends of this writer and others who offered seemingly endless tutorials in web basics as the days rolled on.  And, not least, the keen responsiveness of Chris Boyd, our web designer, who nimbly translated it all into an internet-show.

My job was to be honest, and remain wise enough about what we didn’t know — everything — to keep asking, to keep asking, to keep asking. My job was to listen not only to the professionals on the technical language and facts on the ground, but especially and most carefully to Donn on the work of Wooden Boatworks and the vision he shares with his partner and brother, Bruce Wahl. My job was to be patient, to adjust schedules, changes in time and changes in conception. My job was to coordinate thoughts and materials — a great deal of material in the end. But most of all, my job was to interpret what I heard, to sense and grasp the essence of what drives this band of utterly dedicated artists.  And to give that voice.

I leave you to judge >>

If there is anything that appeals to me more than the world of boats, it is the kick of opening doors; the sneaky thrill of transformation. In my many years in non-profits, I raised money and wrote of the power to change: Let’s give the young woman a scholarship to the college of her choice, bring the nurse to the door just when he’s needed and take the 3rd grade Lower East Side kid to a music class. More recently, as a Board member of the Stepping Stones Foundation, I wanted to ensure that the man or woman reeling from alcoholism’s utter hopelessness knows there is a way up and out.  The theater of my life offers all this.

The theater of my heart, my work in playwriting and screenwriting, runs measurably deeper. I won’t take time here but simply put, I began in college, with a community of astonishing talent committed to angling light into the darker realms of America’s always tangled and complicated story.  And I continue as it’s the richest way I know to embrace my wonder at the night and at awakening.