Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two Years Before the Mast

I'm sitting on a land mass 7500 feet above sea level that wants no part of The Drowned World, only to have torrential rains insist otherwise. Resembles what my dreams have been doing, now aided by a fever (romantically assumed to be swine flu, but probably not) that pushes dreams into the daylight hours. Maybe I'll quit taking Motrin, just to exorcise this beast.

Explanation of sorts: when my feet hit Velikovsky drifting two-step plates on May 10, there was no adaptation time for "sea legs" - there was only the fussy and insistent secular world telling me that three weeks at sea had been a dream, and that it was time to go out and DO something. It only took 72 hours for ships and sea creatures to become dream squatters - not just occasionally, mind you, but dozens of times a night.

Maybe it was the visit to San Diego, when our ship docked next to the Maritime Museum and I spent hours walking through three-masted brigs and Soviet nuclear attack submarines, but the dreams featured ships of every variety: ocean liners, container cargo ships, pilot tugs, maybe the occasional Somali pirate fast boat, though they weren't nearly as scary as the Aegis cruisers and littoral ships. I've become sold on the idea of reincarnation wheels, and am sure I have lived several lives before this one. The past two weeks of dreams have convinced me that at least one of those lives was at sea. Was it before or after the point where steam power and diesel engines and nuclear reactors made ocean vessels chase the land obsession with fast faster fastest? I'm not sure, but 18th-century rigging felt comfortable, somehow.

Almost every dream was accompanied by a soundtrack of human voices singing. On the real-world ship, these were dominated by JD and Kim Smith, Jordan Bennett, and a dozen others, but in the dreams, a more ethereal bunch emerged, Christina Carter, Antony, Inca Ore. Of course - sirens. But not sirens luring us to a death on the shoals, but sirens luring us to a safe harbor. Sirens who represented perfectly safe company. Safety from what?

At some port (Jamaica?), in a little metaphysical bookstore with too much patchouli incense lingering in the air, I learned about the 2012 prophecies for the first time. I don't put much stock in millienium apocalypses, and 2012 could easily be a re-run of the Great Disappointment of 1844. But I keep thinking about my friend Dietrich, who has spent the last year at sea. And I think about how the sirens are trying to guide me to safe harbors over the next two years. We have to document these intervening months very carefully. Maybe you or I will be the only ones left to tell the tale. We can take turns being Ishmael.


Ruth said...

That felt profoundly pleasant, thank you.

I bought Daniel Pinchbeck's book 2012, a while back, read some of it, and got tired of his self absorption and didn't finish it. But there is a lot out there of interest about the year, including the Mayan calendar ending at 2012.

The dreams sound intriguing. Reading your words reminded me of how I felt listening to an NPR story of the making of "Master & Commander" - the sound guy was interviewed about how he recreated all those creaks and basses and booms below deck and above. I have loved that movie ever since, and Don loved the O'Brian books so much he read them all twice.

Sometimes things happen that cause a shift - like your ship experiences.

Ruth said...

Oh, and get better.

Loring Wirbel said...

Thanks, I may get this cultured at the clinic on Sunday, I think I'm growing a pig snout!

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh, and the ship they used to make "Master and Commander" was one of the ones I toured at the Maritime Museum.

Ruth said...

Oh cool!

Yeah, I hope you don't need to go to the clinic today, but sometimes you gotta go.