There is an art to outfighting seasickness. In time I’ve conditioned myself to pay little attention to the waves. Instead I’d give way to the vastness of the sea, peace and strength, allowing my thoughts to drift outside me. Night falls however, and here I struggle with a far deeper nausea. I find the demons always come out in the dark. And what troubles me most is that I have foreseen this coming. It’s a battle I have fought before, many times in truth.
I’ve traveled great lengths to furnish my defences, equipping myself with knowledge of faith and purity. On that road there were lots of books, seminars, even dabbling in the arts. I fall powerless still.
And this is not depression, no, this is dissension. Dissension within my own ranks and I am scared to bits, as I tarry about the ground trying to piece together what’s left. Not because of the imminence of death, but because of the acknowledged presence of life.
At any moment my crew may come up to the deck and see the storm making its way towards us. I know that they will look to me. Tonight I’ll see myself face to face.
A fearful captain is a fallen ship. In ideal alone, confidence stands strong as the sun, so bright, so simple. Then doubt moves about as a mist, to cage us in, and that same confidence becomes a door once imagined.
So to the absence of all logic, I lift my hands to mark surrender, better yet to acknowledge the mite of doubt, in total praise. Like a child after rebuke from his mother I fall asleep with you nearer still. Consciousness slips and I sail afloat of a different kind.
My dream brings me no relief. There I find myself on a beach confronted by my two greatest fears, my father and drowning. I’m afraid of becoming him. He was a coward and walked away from us, from love. Drowning, because of the overwhelming sensation of slowly losing control. Being introduced to the sarcasm of the universe, dying to what has given me life, the water.
My father approaches me in his usual drunkenness while I am lying by the shore in complete paralysis. We’re both numb. He drags me by the arms into the sea. I am entirely panic-stricken as the water swooshes into my mouth and nostrils. He then grabs my head and dunks me into forever. After countless moments of suffering, an acute strangeness overcomes me. Not one of surrender, but the stamina of Moses’ horses riding away from Egyptian captivity. I even write this in urgency as remembrance takes over my pen . In drowning, I was seeing death, but while falling, I realized that I am fighting for my life. I was desperate. The desperation that is stronger than doubt, fear, regrets. The power was in me, and coming out of me. My muscles were brought back to life. With clenched fists, I began to rise.
I am then awoken by a terrified Silas, my first mate. I come to my senses, realize the troubled waters. The storm had drawn closer. But I rose.
I rose from heaviness and assumed a triumphant posture. I relax and release my body to desperation. With every exhale my strength grows and my soul tightens. My flesh let go of my spirit and it took flight to glory. It was God, it was the universe, it was divine and it took over. It is right here; right here in this moment that I walked on water.
Standing tall and gripping the mast, I turn to look behind me at my men. My eyes are stronger than the storm this time. “Let the water bring me life,” I thought. The seas obeyed.
Doubt can bring you a ways down deep into the earth. If you can somehow harness desperation then, you will muster up the strength, or tap into a power greater than you. You are fighting for your life.