Lonesome Seas, Episode 20, Odysseys in Paradise

Rich sailed The Odyssey relentlessly on open seas toward paradise. He desired to cast his eyes on soft velvet-like beaches and swaying palms. He wanted to fill his lungs with the purity of paradise and feel the warmth of God’s breath on his face. He wanted to bathe his soul in its bosom.

Rich saw the movie, Mutiny on the Bounty, however, skeptical of the accuracy and was more than certain of it being romanticized to capture a wider viewing audience. He was confident of his conclusions thus had no romantic illusions about Pitcairn Island.

At the helm his on fast seas and the wind blowing his hair thoughts drifted to Sam; was he sincere, but misguided. “He is a man of purposeful and thoughtful intellect. Good writing is good thinking. It is dissecting events into truth and refitting them into words of honesty. He must see the folly of his course, or maybe he is an honest to goodness believer.”

“Few are motivated by altruistic motives. It is only after success they proclaim it such; in order to give their lives fuller and purposeful meaning. If one says it’s not for the money, it’s the principle; guaranteed, it’s for the money. Sam’s quest is not for a more perfect world, it is his own ambition and well-being he desires. He will enrich himself on the misery of many who will receive nothing in return. He and his cohorts seek only to establish an elite class of intellects. They hide behind the ivy walls of philosophy, theory, and rationalism; free of morality, shame, and pity.”

“I wonder what happened to Sam, the boy who wanted to sail around the world? Maybe he lacked the courage and commitment. Was he living his dream through me? That was the thing missing in his life; adventure. When this is over., I’m going to walk up to him on the street someday, smile, and say, ‘I have experienced 10 times more in my lifetime before I met you, now a thousand times more. Would you like to hear about them? I want to tell you, Sam. Most of all I want to tell you how you betrayed me.’”

Rich moved to the roof of the cabin and sat, scanning the vast sea all around him. “Sailing is never uneventful. The seas constantly change, though it looks the same. The eyes never tire of the motion and solemnity, it is food for the soul.”

“Some see it as freedom. Zeke thought of it as confining. Although the island is small, Zeke will never tire of it. It is now his home. Likely, at this point in his memory, I’m a familiar odor.”

“The sea at night is the sound of waves, stars, and loneliness. There is no faraway music from a distant broadcast booth tended to by a lonely man who spins lonely music. It’s a man with his thoughts and imagination. At sea nothing distracts disturbing memories and thoughts, they run wild and free.”

Rich retired to the cabin. The loneliness of the night became too much to bear. He sipped whiskey from a tin cup and stared at nothing. A song came from nowhere. A song heard many times, played by lonely men on jukeboxes, in lonely bars, on lonely nights.

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill

He sounds too blue to fly

The midnight train is whining low

I’m so lonesome I could cry


I’ve never seen a night so long

When time goes crawling by

The moon just went behind the clouds

To hide its face and cry


Did you ever see a robin weep

When leaves begin to die?

Like me, he’s lost the will to live

I’m so lonesome I could cry


The silence of a falling star

Lights up a purple sky

And as I wonder where you are

I’m so lonesome I could cry

“It is strange how a sad song can wrap your feelings and store it in a safe place. They are an outlet for what rests within and it’s good to let it out. Songs and poems ease them from the mind.”

Rich turned off the dim cabin light and sat in darkness. Something caught his attention through the starboard porthole; a flicker and suddenly it disappeared below the waves. Rich waited. “There it is again.”


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