ship and crew

I have been standing on unstable financial ground. The weight of that instability falls on everything I turn my hand to. I want to find firm footing. I want to find support. I want to find a steady flow of resources. What does that look like?

Grace comes to lead me on this quest. She flicks her tail and suggests I clean myself up before we go. I am a little ragged and it will be important to make a good impression today.

I give myself to the water of the Wellspring. My hair lifts and drifts, the twigs and leaves wash out. I come clean. NH combs and braids my hair. He brings me clothes to wear, a dress of deepest blue, twinkling with starlight, a gauzy veil pinned to the crown of my head flowing down over my shoulders and back, thick with sparkle. I am resplendent. I have never shown so fine.

I follow Grace. My dress is all flow. We could run if we wanted, but we go stately. The power to run shimmers around us.

We are on the beach. It is night, thick with stars, a big moon low on the horizon over the water. We stop at the place where we have lit fires before, but do not light one now. We look out at the night. Everything speaks to my desire for abundance, all the drops of water in the ocean, grains of sand on the beach, stars in the heavens. I am surrounded by abundance. There is no want.

“I see this Grace, and thank you. But I need a teacher, a guide, someone to speak to. Can we find a spirit of abundance to help me work out some logistics?”

Grace leads me around the headland and into the cove beyond. There is a pirate ship at anchor.

“What? Pirates? But I seek to make peace. How can I make peace with treachery and violence?”

I am answered then by a clear calm voice. “This is what you see. Treachery, thievery, pain and suffering. It is not what I see.”

“What do you see?”

“I see a ship. A crew. A hold filling with supplies. I see potential and ability. What will you make of it?”

“Is the ship my guide then?”

“The ship is yours to command.”

“Am I the pirate captain then?”

“You are the captain.”

“And you?”

“I am your First Mate.”

Her name is Rebecca. She is beautiful, tough, a scarf over her head and a hat over that, cocked sideways. She wears adopted bits of finery. This and that, gathered through her days. Nothing ready made. Something glittering at her ear. She has a keen eye and balance. She is tough and the crew respects her. She is overseeing the filling of the hold, barrels of clean water to last the voyage.

“I don’t know how to be a ship’s captain. What do I do?”

“Your job is to inspire. To cultivate the vision and the desire for it, the hunger that leads us all. Stand at the prow. Let the moon and the wind fill your veil. Let the crew see you glitter and shine. When the hold is filled, you will tell us where to go.”

I do as she says and stand in the prow looking back over the ship. The crew is raggedly dressed, sure footed. They know their business. There is a monkey in the rigging and a bird with bright plumage. There are butterflies in the rigging that rise as we weigh anchor.

I want to carry the butterflies with us. I want a garden in the middle of the ship to house the butterflies so that startlement of color, that rising away and settling back will be with us always.

The idea is frivolous, not sound, and costly. Rebecca councils against it. We need to go lean and with purpose. She’s right. I let the butterflies go.

I turn and face out to sea, face into the moon and she begins to sing to me and her singing sets me alight. The crew is delighted. We will sail for the moon. A ship can be used not just for plunder, but for exploration. We can discover ways that aren’t yet known. People on shore, people who love maps, will value what we discover.

My job is navigating and mapping and inspiring the crew.

How do you steer for uncharted lands? You aim for something known, then change course in the middle of the night. Sounds like trickery. It doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to go off course. The wind can do it for you. Steer into the Straits of Confusion, let the storms set your course, find yourself lost, chart the way from there.

Rebecca nods. “Heed this though, the supplies on board are finite. The mission is to reach a refueling place before you die. The crew’s not afraid of a little hungry, but not a one of them aims to die at this. Except you perhaps, but the crew won’t like it if they catch wind of that. They need to trust you to want surviving as much as they do. If it comes to that, the suicide mission you fly solo. They’ll honor you for that. Until such time, your imperative is to make landfall before the supplies give out.”


And so we sail, off toward the moon, knowing the storms of confusion will land us somewhere new and unknown and we will make our way from there. I stand at the prow in my resplendence, catching wind, catching light. I tune my compass to the new land that waits for us. We sail.


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3 Responses to ship and crew

  1. praise singer says:

    I honor Resourcefulness, Spirit of First Mate Rebecca
    Power of ship and crew,
    Promise of exploration, confusion and discovery,
    Service of vision, inspiration, navigation,
    and making landfall before the stores give out.

  2. girl says:

    Today I had an insight at work, about a project I haven’t been able to navigate. Suddenly I saw how to move it from an act of regulation and stricture to one of inspiration and celebration. Suddenly I believe it will work. I took Rebecca a piece of ribbon to thank her. It was the color of goldenrod. She used it to tie up her sleeve.

  3. me says:

    more, please, on this journey…amongst the pirates….and with Rebecca….

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