Wadi Bani Al Khalid © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Satisfactory possession

I have often wondered why a ship appears to be on the whole a more satisfactory possession than a woman. It is probably because, being so frail an object, precariously and visibly balanced between the elements, even the most obtuse of men realise the necessity of attention and tact at the helm. But women, though often quite as fragile, perched on edges more razor-like, though intangible, and eternities even more momentous, must evidently give a false impression of stability, since belated and absent-minded jerks so often take the place of that gentle hand on the tiller which keeps both ships and human beings along their course. Hence the natural but unreasonable preference of peace-loving men for ships.

Freya Stark
The Southern Gates of Arabia