In short, I’d like to show you something.
Or better yet, I’d like to take you on a trip with me.
Are you ready? Good, then let’s go.
I want to be out there, far away, on that great ocean plateau of absolute nothingness. There’s no one around. There’s no one to interfere with the sky or the sea or the rolling waves that move beneath me. I want to head out, due south, and sit in the dream of my wheelhouse in my outgoing vessel, set to go anywhere the ocean can take me and sit beneath the sun.
I have this dream.
(Or did you already know this?)
I suppose you might have known, especially since I’ve told you about everything else – but still, I have this dream about me being on a boat of my own heading out at the daybreak of a perfect morning.
I can almost hear the sound of my diesel engines humming. I can smell the salt air and see the sky which is changing now because the day is about to rise.
I have this hope that one day, I might find myself here (with you) moving outward to the open ocean where there is no pain nor slander, nor worries about whether I am efficient or insufficient. No, all there is are the earthly things that were here long before our kind.
I suppose this is one of the things that I love most about the sea. I love this because although the sea carries a trillion secrets, I know she’ll never tell. I know she’ll never judge or laugh. Certainly, I know she will never persecute me for being me.
I can be myself here, without worry, and without the anxious concerns of being liked or accepted. I can look up at the sky and appreciate the formation of the clouds. I can be a kid here. I can be silly if I want. I am at peace here.
I can be the man of my choice. I can be a captain or, better yet, I can make a connection between myself and my version of the Lord with a perfect supplication between myself and the ears of all which are listening, ever-moving, and always growing.
I can reconcile. I can learn to endure and weather the storm; to return from what seems to be tumultuous and appease the laws of all humanity and find harmony amongst myself.
See, I don’t come here to settle my fascination or to find the simple enjoyment when the ocean breeze flies through my hair. No, my reason for positioning myself here is much deeper and, by far, this is more important to me than a pleasure cruise.
No, this is my sanctuary. This is my church.
This is where my priests give their sermons without words and, of course, this is where my choir sings their songs, which is enough to make you stand up, arms raised, like hallelujah – at last, I can be healed.
This is the place where the godless go; where religion is not about religion and the sacraments are not about the all-holy; but more, this is an outward vision of a sign that reflects inward peace. This is not about the allegiance to God the Father at all; but more, this is a place where the mind can find ease and the spirit can let go of the weights which hold us down.
I see this view as pastoral; only, the shepherds here are of the sea and my staff and my glory; all of this is different to me.
I am here now, in my head (with you).
I have pictured my ship more than a thousand times. She has grown and changed.
I have seen her in my mind and thought about the way her bow cuts through the waves. I have pictured myself in the wheelhouse, standing tall at the wheel and navigating from the port of home to ports unknown.
I picture this as a means of survival. And I mean this.
This helps me.
I use this as my special vision board; to keep me alive; to keep me moving, and to keep me motivated so that on days when the world is hard; I can find at least something to soften the edges of our everyday life.
I offer this to you because everyone needs something to whet their whistle.
We need something to optimize out goals and incentivize us to keep going. Even if it’s too hard or if life seems to be impossible, everyone needs something to change their perspective from problems into possibilities.
And me, I am not so worldly.
I admit this,
I have not traveled to many places. I have not seen the sun go down in Europe – at least not yet. I’ve never been to places like Vegas and I’ve never been anywhere near Baja. But that’s only for now.
I’ve been to California several times. I’ve been to Los Angeles and San Diego to be exact, but this was mostly a business trip or with some other restrictive calculation – and this was never of my own steam. While I saw incredible things and experienced beautiful moments like ah, the sunset at Marina Del Rey – I’ve not been here from start to finish as a means of exploration. But again, I understand this is a “yet” for me.
I have not seen or done a lot of things yet I have this dream which is all encompassing and my dream is encapsulated by this one specific fascination.
I see myself in the wheelhouse of my ship and, again, this is my pew; this is my appreciation for the altar and with my head dropped down with a humble and holy attitude – this is me, solely searching for a moment of truth, looking for a way out or to be far from the land, softly abandoned in a sea of total bliss. I say this as in felicity or as a means of serenity, peace and total happiness.
My vision is centered and personally based upon my soul’s need to bleed and feel and cry and scream.
This is my soul’s picture of heaven in which I choose to dream. This is where I am able to be free to wish and to completely withdraw from the losses behind me. This is where I can “let go” and allow my unwanted sentiments to sink to the depths of the ocean below.
I have had this dream throughout my entire life. Do you know why?
Because the sea does not judge. Only we do.
The sea is forgiving to me and She (as in the combination of tears, socked from the greatness of Mother Earth) has the ability to baptize and to wash and cleanse my spirit – She can rinse me clean of my yesterday’s mishaps and wash away the remnants of our regrettable yesterdays.
I am not sure if you can see what I see but if I may, please allow me to explain.
I have this picture of my Father from before I was born. He is standing shirtless with an old captain’s hat on his head. He is standing at the wheel of an old wooden lobster boat that my family owned before I was born.
There are stories about this boat which I never had the chance to see or experience.
The boat was kept in City Island at a marina with an owner who owed “the wrong” people money; so, as a result, every boat in the yard was burned down. Hence; this is why I never saw this boat – only in pictures.
Whenever I think of my Father, I like to see him this way.
I envision him in the afterlife, which is where he is now, moving through the waters of an unending sea where, at last, he has found his peace.
All debts have been settled. There are no more wars and no more reasons to work his life away. He can rest his worries and forget the disputes which only exist while we are alive or of the flesh.
There are no more reasons to prove his life away and prove that he can “do it” or perform or that his age is not a factor and finally, I like to picture The Old Man this way, happy with a quiet stare upon his face. He is at peace as he stares out at the oceans ahead of him.
Like I said; this is my Church.
This is my place of holy attitude, of humble offerings and, of course, this is where I come in total and complete submission – to confess my sins, to offer a statement which appeals for me as an act of contrition – with hopes to be healed, to be forgiven and, of course, to be absolved from my sin – so that I may return home with a cleared heart, better, and so that I may sin no more.
I hope that you don’t mind this trip.
I see this as a necessary place for me, which to some or to the agnostics or even the atheists; I am not here to set an example for God or to argue about God’s existence. No, this is not what I am saying nor is this my intention.
I wanted to take you here with me just to show you something.
I want you to see this vision of the boat of my choosing.
I want you to see the way the ocean accepts us as a friend.
I want you to see this because although the physical size of this dream is smaller than an actual grain of sand – to me, this is all that I have.
Here, cup your hand for a second and let me show you.
I’ll just place it gently in your palm but please – be gentle with her.
She’s all that I have.