flower boat

abandoned trawler black and white
When we were close to shore, we cast flowers into the sea, flowers that had bloomed from cracks and crevices of the ship as if the sweetness of Love manifested itself in unusual and unexpected miracles. The One Who Had Been Love had cared for us the whole of our journey although he was dead, wrapped in a shroud, his body kept below deck. Still, impossible things continued to happen just as they had when he was alive and present to perform them. After we lost our mast on the open water during a storm, we cried out in our beds, certain we were done for. The next morning, a new mast had been erected, a mast as straight and turgid as the leaves from a bulb in April. We cried and danced and drank the wine. We spoke of times to come when we would commune with him in full, when he would receive the burial that was his due. We sang songs to him as if he were still alive with us and we knew the songs that gave him pleasure.

At the island, we threw in the rope made from a chain of the flowers he had seen fit to give us. We had weighted it with a chest of our writings, a record of our hopes. It was a message meant only for the sand. When the box hit bottom, the rope snapped and the flowers scattered and the silver fish of the blue green darted and turned and shot off through the rain of pink. The Dear One had loved us into ourselves and at the least sight of beauty, we were tearful and grateful although before our awakening, scales had crusted over our eyes so that we had no joy. After the moment of His hands upon our eyes, there was no division among us, no evidence of shame or envy or grief or anger. When we threw the chest into the sea, we did not know how long or if our joy would last but when one is in love, there is no asking for how long, no greedy hoarding. The sea spread the flowers and before us an unknown source of breath moved the fronds of the trees and a white beach blinded our eyes and gave us delight.

It was no great effort to come to shore. We had prepared the boats long ago and lashed them to the ship, along with the pyre with which we intended to transport the body. We had managed to preserve the means for making fire and lashed a torch to each corner of the strange dark boat. We had no care for ourselves, only for the safe conveyance of our Dear One and for our efforts we were richly rewarded with a feast from the ocean which we cooked over an open flame. We made little houses from reams of sailcloth and we took turns keeping the fire lest wild animals should want to desecrate the body. Though he had taught us not to be scared of all that had been made, we began our protectiveness without a recognition of what we were abandoning, that is, the teachings he had uttered in his living beauty.

Secretly, each flame keeper wanted a chance to whisper to the shroud that contained The One Who Had Been Love. The miracles we had seen convinced us it was a living body though he had taught us were not to put faith in such things but to instead live according to what can’t be seen. We were confused. We spoke to the body and didn’t know we could go anywhere on the island and still be heard. And so we whispered our most fervent hopes to this shroud along with our rather specious prayers that he be conveyed to God though surely the Man was already seated at His right. We said prayers for those whom we had abandoned and for those dead as well, as if they weren’t well cared for, as if the sparrow would not be fed in our absence.

Should the others miss us, we did not know. We only knew one Man had made us live. Perhaps our actions to flee had been rash but we knew the living existence of our Love had staved off what had become for us a grievous state of existence. We knew what men would say, they would say what they’ve always said, that love can be found in present circumstances and yet, we reasoned, how could anything stay the same when trees clearly now have leaves? And so we began our quest, which was not unlike any imperfect quest on earth, though at the time there was no reason to doubt it would turn out to be anything other than what we dared hope.

First appeared at Fictionaut.

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