Inside a sea rages on.
The crazy kind of sea that sees no reason, that knows no mercy. The grey kind of sea that swills the mellifluous blue to the depths of its foamy fury. The murderous kind of sea that doesn’t discriminate, only destroys, that only knows how to hate with abandon. The sea that feeds on sunshine and churns out shapeless black clouds.
And at the shores of consciousness the waves break hard and violent, shattering any structure that reeks of safety.
The boats are now all splinters, the houses all straws. The trees all roots. The musty smell of hopelessness travels for miles across, giving a sign to all yonder to watch out lest they get too close. Under the inky night, that has swallowed up the moon, a lone boat with its red sails adrift dares to brave the madness. The lone pirate of reason calling out, shouting hoarse the sweet voice that was rented from angels, “Soul, soul where are you?”
The sea doesn’t appreciate the intrusion, doesn’t accept the challenge.
Meanwhile, a challenge is underway at the top story of the abandoned light house at the centre of the void: Soul sits playing a game of chess with Hurt. The lights are off. A candle fights the wind to illuminate the board. He sits contemplating his next move, oblivious to the raging sea, oblivious to her broken calls.
“Your move,” says hurt. He plays with white. He’s got quite an impressive game to show—a classic English opening with a queen gambit which was taken. A by-the-book opening has given him a strong middle game with an iron hold on the center. Hurt always controls the game from the center. Soul struggles to keep up.
I stand witness to it all. No matter who wins the game between them, I will lose. She won’t be able to hold on much longer, I think. I want to help, but all I can do is pray. Soul must win, and in time.
He can hear her calls then.
Bathe the sea in bright light. Show her the way. I know Hurt’s game but I don’t know where the lighthouse is. The mist of the sea blocks out any chance of spotting it. The mad sea, the lost soul, the lone pirate, the white king and the clueless fool—all companions of the endless black night.
The sea swallows her up and spits her out. Her boat all planks, her courage all pieces. She sits on the edge of the rock, all broken and bruised.
It’s a miracle she has survived again, by the skin of her pearly teeth.
She sits there singing a sweet lullaby to the deaf sea. That’s all she can do now. Sing in her sweet voice the song she learnt from her mother.
I walk up to her, sit on the rock and dangle my legs next to her frail ones. I stroke her hair. She smells of moonlight and salt. I tell her, “Don’t worry darling, we will find him soon. Let’s have a brew and we will build you a new boat tomorrow.”
So we walk away, her tiny hand in my rough one. Leaving Hurt and Soul to battle it out on their own terms in the dark lighthouse under the dark inky sky.
Inside, the sea still rages on.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!
Editorial Assistant: Laura Ashworth/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: flickr creative commons
Read 1 comment and reply