This time the name question was especially popular. We had to explain this metaphor created (or born) in 2011, when Burlakov and we all just started it. The spirit, the wind, the environment – it all exists in the nature and inside us. It depends on you whether the yacht will travel and where will it go. The wind pushes the sail, the sail rests upon the mast, the mast goes off of the water with the keel, and the yacht travels to the new shores. When you set the sail, it is important that these environment forces coincide with your movements and dreams. The same is true with a man — it’s kind of spirit, something sail-like, capable of uniting tremendous energy and aspirations.
Morning on July, 1. The weather is wonderful: it’s hot and windy. Together with Grigory, Zhenya, Nastya and Mark we are going to a guided tour to Haüy’s places in Mikhailovsky castle. Directly along Nevsky prospect, to the right towards the Fontanka, and we’re near the castle. Aliya, a blind novice journalist from St. Petersburg, joins our excursion, as well as a representative of the Sails’ new partner, Yury from Leningradskaya atomic power station in Sosnovy Bor. We blindfold Yury and Grigory in the arch at the fortress entrance, then the guide begins the tour.
Let me remind you that Haüy was one of the first to start teaching blind people in Paris at the end of 18th century; he organized workshops and created the three-dimensional alphabet. By the way, the alphabet issues in those days were relevant not only for the blind. In those days, a simple alphabet and grammar rules varied greatly not only in different nations, they differed even in different people. Haüy was a member of the state commission dealing with uniform rules of writing documents in French. At one time he was a professor and translator of the King. So, after being disgraced in the days of Napoleon, Haüy arrived in St. Petersburg at the invitation of Alexander 1 creating similar workshops and training Institute for the blind, now in St. Petersburg, in 1806.
First, he was granted a merchant’s house for these purposes where the successful work began. Then, after the departure of Haüy, the following occurs: the castle, Paul I where was killed and which was found unfit for the reign, was used for the military school and … Attention! – a Blind Institute with its workshops and a music school was assigned to this college.
And then, under the sun of Petersburg, right in the center of the castle I realized what a brilliant inclusion had been built in, screwed into the process of training of the officers. I was amazed and excited at the same time. It is difficult to imagine who had had such an idea and how it had occurred to him. I would like to think that it was not without Haüy’s covenants. But I want to believe that the Russian head was involved in it. I would like to think that this, of course, had passed through the royal family. But such inclusion is brilliant! Who but the military and the disabled could better share inclusion with each other? And where should it be but in the center of the capital, in the former royal palace? The idea is not in the luxurious apartments but in importance with which the process was treated. We will do it again on a new level!
We were running across Petersburg on the tour in inclusive pairs and triples. Yuriy and Aliya, Nastya, Marc and I, Zhenya rushed forward with Grigory. The taxis diasppeared because of traffic jams and we were rushing to the subway to arrive in time at the presentation in the Library for the Blind. Half an hour of running to the subway station across the hot city, then the subway to the library where Lena was waiting for us with the prepared branded clothes with logos of the Sails of Spirit, partners and Congress. Marc on the run finds in his mind a new view of Russia’s northern capital. At the meeting in the library, he says that he had prepared to travel to the northern city, and he felt as if he had arrived in one of the Mediterranean capitals, for example, he compared Petersburg with Rome.
Zhenya began the meeting with the press and the blind establishment. We run across the disk-like Northern Palmyra.