Smooth sailing. The waves of gentle romance splash gently on loves boat, and you drift gently asleep… CRACK! A second later; you are faced with a Pirates of the Caribbean type whirlpool with lightning bolts as far reaching as the sky itself. What happened; just a second ago you were on the Love Boat, but now it has turned into the Titanic!
Okay, okay so I am being a little melodramatic, but I am an artist darn it all! Anyways, the ship that I am referring to is quite simply the “relation-ship” (pun intended), and the ocean is inevitably the forward progress of time, which is sometimes very coarse and other times peaceful. The person who doesn’t expect to get his/her feet wet in all of these romantic endeavors is foolish. The person who believes they will never be hurt, and won’t hurt, another is just as well. If love was as easy to love our brother and sister what need would we have for laws and principalities? No. The emotions that come all too easy for us are the emotions that are mill-stones around our necks in deep waters. It is: anger, resentment, cynicism, skepticism, melancholy and the other abusive feelings that pass over us like waves.
The wind and waves are rough teachers, but again, life and Mother Nature are not without their timeless advice. The waves are trials that should strengthen the hulls of our love for our significant other, and not weaken that love until our ship springs a fatal leak. The wind of adversity can topple us to one side, but can also be used to power us in any direction we choose so long as we respect its power. The creatures below the sea wait in the darkness for a meal, and they are the lechers that lust after our partners. Warning: do not feed the animals. You see they are there for a reason as well. By keeping our competition in the back of our minds that keeps us sharp for our loved ones, and keep the fire burning within us. Lest we fall asleep at the wheel and be swallowed up like Jonah!
I have a confession to make, and I like Jonah, had to face down my own fears. I recently had to tell my ex-girlfriend a very difficult truth. I felt as if my heart was being pulled towards another woman. I suppose this was a wave crashing into my very own HMS Bad News. I had been battling the winds of these feelings for some weeks, and upon the urging of a friend, I summoned up my courage and said the six words that any sea faring man or woman dread to hear: we need to have a talk. For the longest time before hand; I had wished my feelings to be non-existent for the other person. It was as if I was looking for a life preserver in the face of the incoming tidal wave. I had no idea of the other person liked me or not, and no way to deal with the storm that raged inside of me. So, as the captain of my ship, I did what I needed to do. I told my girlfriend I needed a break to sort out my feelings for the other woman.
Of course, our “relation-ship” hit consequently hit a reef, and all life aboard was banished except two life boats that went their separate ways. She called me later that night to tell me it was over. She didn’t want to, in her words, “play second fiddle” to another woman. I of course apologized profusely, and didn’t fault her for her feelings. Heck, I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I suppose in my heart you can never conquer the very nature of your heart. It wants what it wants and I suppose my ship is still awash in this ghastly river. The point I am making is this: honesty in a relationship and to you is paramount. If there is only one side of oars working then you will only be guided into a discombobulated spin. But the feeling of honesty is comparable to a feeling of lightness after the yoke has been lifted. Both of us have by now moved on, so I think, to safer waters.
I have now harbored my heart back at home where it needs to be, and had this profound time of reflection. It saddens me to know that journey of our relationship is over, but the ripples in the water behind me still remain, and for that I am happy. Only a bitter man looks back on the journey and hates where he has been when he has led a good life. As the Bible tells us; no matter what: love they neighbor. That has taken me a few years to fully understand, but with this most recent parting of sea-farers, I have learned to forgive myself and others much more fully. Like, I told my good friend, whose ship fell on bad weather, do not hate her or poison her memory but love her and the memories you shared. Human nature would dictate that as a Herculean effort. Take the time to center your ship and get your head above water, but you need to let go of the pain you hold in order to forgive. You will be amazed at how wonderful the feeling is.
So, my Jesters and Harlequins, if I haven’t “sunk your Battleship” with all of these ocean metaphors, then I sincerely thank you. I would just encourage you today to center YOUR “relation-ship”, to reconsider one that will not suit your future journeys, and let go of a ship that has already left the port, and as God forgives so too should we. I hope you find yourself in open waters and with clear skies. God Speed.