We had no notion of the scale. Of what really lay beyond the treacherous currents at the gates of the World Ocean.
Our old fat Captain, we’ll call him Pythagoras, is plastered in the corner of the wheel house. He’s madly calculating the surface of a sphere, the one he still hopes we’re navigating. I can tell though, by the yellow fear blathering in his eyes, that it's more likely two wings and and a prayer that he's digging for.
When doubt clamps on, clinging tightly to scurry up his toga as terror, he retreats to his stateroom bunk to solemnly strap himself in. We least experienced crew are now left to "hold course", meaning: "come to terms with life as you've known it."
The engines chug on as we tow the empty fuel barge, corking a thousand feet behind us. It rises far above the horizon like Noah’s mountain-ed ark, then to plunge out of sight beneath the siege of waves.
My senses are on alerted arousal. It’s as though my core has become snagged by tectonic force; a consummate lover is testing my worth. I know that a show of fear is a futile ploy and would dispel this mood so tenuously constructed. Endurance is foreplay within this consensual arrangement.
I find my position in the dogged, oval hatch. My hands brace upward above my head. My legs are splayed and timbered as I ride fluidly, wave upon wave and the boat pitches violently foreword and aft, starboard to lee.
Our deck light turns blackness to bottled sea glass. When the boat’s bow burrows beneath the mountainous waves, tree sized logs glimpse at momentary light then pummel on their way, past our wheel house windows. The swirling foam and buffeting wind continue to plunge us hour after hour, past the suggestion of day.
As the onslaught thunders rapturously down upon us, I realize Heaven is now fully unzipped. It’s openly pouring water from the sky on us and around us for a million years without abating. The clock strikes again, and again, 24:00, three times around.
Somewhere within this I’m melded and molded to a place of accepting that both tragedy and joy are life. That an absence of either; the void.
I’m gifted a transfer of power and clarity: Okeanos’ inherent passion of the unpredictable. Chaos lies within creativity and order, and are partnered in this marriage of existence.
The beauty of blueness, this marvelous globe, ...and that I am here to witness this miracle? Astounding.
After which, the sea was spent.
We limped our way into Port Hardy, B.C. My, you should have seen the galley floor!