The grey skies blend with the horizon, illuminated by the spray coming up off the waves. Up and down, up and down, the boat pitches back and forth over the sea. Minutes roll into hours, hours into days, and days into weeks, and time, unstopping, unreturnable, rolls on in its deceptive sameness. Each day carries me forward, closer to something unseen yet not unknown. Though at times my confidence wavers, it is set, I know where I'm going, and I know who is taking me. Yet the two of us are not alone, there are other voices in the boat. In fact, it is quite loud.
We are all talking together with the captain, and it's a pleasant conversation. The minutes ticking by, and the waves rocking the boat. Suddenly, I'm aware I don't hear the captain's voice anymore. I guess I must have fallen asleep again, lulled by the voices of the waves into a comforting dream. Now I'm wide awake, someone is yelling at me, screaming for my attention. I look toward this little voice, and he's soaked and clinging to the edge of the boat. "How long was I out?" I ask the captain. "Nevermind that, just help the little voice," replies the captain. I move over and find another voice already drying him off with her towel. "Thanks," I say, "I'll try not to sleep like that." "The captain keeps waking me up too," she says, "I dreamt we forgot where we were going." "Thanks," the little voice says, "I was getting kind of cold, but I feel warm now." "I'm just glad we're all in this boat together," I say. Deep down I know that if we weren't all together with the captain we'd each be underwater.
The captain; I feel reassured ever time I talk with him. Long ago, I decided to get in his boat. It took a while for me to trust him with his own boat, and looking back I feel a little foolish about that now, but not in an ashamed or guilty kind of way, the captain has a way of taking those thoughts away. What sold me on the boat in the first place was the destination; I wanted to get someplace, and the captain said he was the way to get there. Since I've been in the boat, I've learned a lot about myself and about how to navigate, mostly from watching the captain. I've often been surprised by the route he's taken, it's definitely not the way I would have chosen, but that's because when you go against the current the progress is often slow. The captain is always guiding the boat against the current, and he doesn't seem to be afraid of a little wind, some waves, and a good storm either. The progress is slow and steady, and despite my daydreaming from time to time I'm carried along.
I've actually never been to where we're going. In fact, no one has, except the captain. I've heard a lot of voices say they want to go to this place, but for some reason most of them never get in the boat. I know a little bit about where we're going along the way, but I have to admit I'd be pretty lost without the captain. He keeps welcoming in new voices into the boat too, some of them I don't understand too well yet, but they all seem to love him. I think this might be why it's taking a while to get to our destination, the boat keeps going into these crazy places searching out these other voices, but I don't really mind, as long as I'm with the captain. Come to think of it, it's actually pretty exciting when new voices come into the boat, and I think I'd like for the captain to teach me how to search for them better. So I guess it doesn't really matter how long it takes to get to the destination, sometimes I feel like I've already reached it anyway, like the captain is the destination. Still, I'm excited about what the captain has told me about it, he said his Dad lives there, and that once I get there I'll never daydream again. There's a whole bunch more he told me about it but a lot of it borders on to awesome for me to imagine, more beautiful than a sunset over some majestic snow covered mountain, anyway I'm just looking forward to not daydreaming again and meeting the captains's Dad.
We start visiting with the captain again, asking all sorts of questions about the days ahead. He answers with just what we need to know, nothing more, nothing less, explains what he wants from us, and then reassures us that he'll be with us. I have to be honest, sometimes this annoys me. I wish he would just tell me everything, but then I remember that I probably wouldn't understand anymore anyway, the way he guides the boat. I decide I'm along for the ride, and I go about doing what he told me to do the best I can. As I'm doing this, the continuous ups and downs of the sea impose themselves upon me, alternatively soothing me to sleep and accusing me of sleeping. For what seems the millionth time, I snap out of it, and feeling the breeze on my face, I ask the captain to remind me what he had me doing.
The sea is tricky in that it appears to go on forever, making it easy to forget where one is, yet someone with experience knows just what to look for. It takes focus and concentration, a constant awareness of one's surroundings. The waves can be disorienting, especially when one starts listening to them. The sea is full of voices, and they all seem to be talking at the same time. Which ever one you listen to starts to get stronger, and it's almost like they're all competing with each other for followers. The best way to not get pulled in is to learn the voice of the captain real well. Thankfully, I got in his boat, so he's never very far away from me. It's also nice having the other voices in the boat with me, we might have our disagreements sometimes, but they're usually pretty good at waking me up and getting me to refocus on what's going on around me. Someday, when we've crossed this sea together and reached our destination, I'm sure we'll all have plenty of stories to tell, and I bet they'll all be about the captain!