Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sailors in the Storm

I am a sailor in the storm, seeking refuge.
Rough seas and cold midnight winds deepen my hunger for home.
I see lights in the dark.
Lighthouses peppering the cliffs of a violent black sea.
A panorama of cascading castles of light.
A sailor’s delight.
Lights, lights, lights.
Reaching into the night.
Restoring hope.
Showing me the way.

Closer to them now, they seem to span the run of the horizon.
An endless lighthouse-buffet.
Oh, but which one?
Where to steer this vessel?
All point to safety, or so they claim.
White, bright, clean hope.
Dry land, sturdy on my feet.
A warm place to hang my coat.

My hope turns to despair.
In the pale moonlight, I see many ships dashed on the rocks.
A graveyard of wreckage bowing before the jagged cliffs.
Tombstones for what they sought.
Bone-chilling fear seizes me.
There is no safe haven in these lighthouses.
These sirens of light point to death.
Calling those who crave shelter from the storm.
Drawing them into their hollow, empty promises.

Losing my grip, I follow the shoreline.
Where am I?
Is there a way?
But all I see is a way of death.
Where to look, oh where to turn?
No place is safe.
The waters crash their hands upon my decks and icy winds tear my last shreds of comfort to pieces.
The lighthouses seem to pull me in.
This vessel barely within my control.
All is lost.

Just before my ship is thrown and splintered into a thousand pieces, I hear a sound. A sound that pierces the blinding electric luminescent mirage and the percussion of dead ships against the rocks.
Pierces the fibers of my heart which so long for a home.
I hear a horn in the fog.
Perhaps there is a way?
Someone sounding safety to ships?
My quiet desperation turns hope again.

I close my eyes, grip the wheel and let my ears do the steering.
My heart.
I toss in the foam, but somehow drift away from the cliffs.
As if something or someone were guiding my ship.
Trusting the sound, I drift closer.
Closer to the sound.
Somewhere safe.
Anywhere but here.

As if my magic, I am saved.
The waters and winds are stilled and I roll into an unseen place.
I open my eyes.
Home has found me.
A calm cove with welcoming docks.
The echoes of a fog horn.
A cabin and the soft glow of fire light.
A warm place to hang my coat.


Sailors be warned of lying lights—of sirens drawing you unto to death.
The lighthouses which save you are the ones that will sink you.
Close your eyes and listen for the Horn.
Do not try to listen, but trust that it is sounding and you will hear.
There is but one Horn.
So hope in the Horn.
Until the docks.
Until you are home.
A warm place to hang your coat.
But do not stay within the comforts of the cabin for too long.
There are many sailors lost at sea, blinded by lights.
They must know of the Horn.
So sail on, and return another day.