Stories from the Sea

Alone, adrift, he finally knew. He understood what had happened and why. The forest was destroyed, burned to the ground. And yet – and yet it was still the source of the first house, the house that would lead to healing.

It took him a week to understand. A week at sea by himself, drifting in that small sailboat. How thankful he was that his mother had sent him to boating school all those summers ago. She’d spent many a day sailing with her dad when she was growing up and wanted her son to have the same skills. He appreciated it now.

At night he tied the rudder and slept under the stars And still the visions came – the house, that house, the one he would build, the one that would rebuild his town, and hopefully after that, the world.

He couldn’t see that far. His visions stopped after his mortal life was determined to end. He could reach just so far and then nothing, a grey mist covered his Sight. It was enough. He was content to know his purpose and live into its completion. Any more and he might have gone mad. Just enough for one person and one lifetime was plenty.

But still the visions came and still he couldn’t see how they were to be. He trusted that all would be revealed in time. It always was. Yet he also knew this was the biggest thing he would be called to do and his time was growing short. His parents both died young – albeit due to entirely preventable causes – causes he didn’t participate in – and he was mindful of the value of time. Perhaps he would live longer than they did – but perhaps not. Then again, even at 60 would he be strong enough to build a house? So he knew the time was coming soon for the fruition.

And then he saw it – the boat! It had been made from the very same forest he had sworn to protect! He was close to shore, close enough to swim in. In his joy, he began to hack away at the mast with an ax, delighted that now he knew the next step in his vision, delighted that it was coming into reality. This mast would be used to create the front door to the house. Now it all made sense.

(Inspired by art of the same name by Dan McCarthy)

Stories from the Forest

Evan knew he had to run away from the forest he had protected for so long. He built a tiny home there to keep an eye on it but the times had changed. The forest was on fire. There would be no investigation. Nobody (yet)cared about this forest, this special place, this future birthplace of the healing of his hometown. Nobody (yet) thought of this forest (any forest) as valuable, as necessary. A house burning, now they’d investigate that. That was property. There was the insurance company to appease. But this – this was seen as a wasteland, a wilderness. Because it wasn’t owned by people it was seen as not of value. It didn’t count because it wasn’t counted.

Evan had used this to his advantage to build his home years ago. How long had it been? The seasons had slid into each other one after another, faster and faster, so quickly that it didn’t seem but a blink of an eye and a decade had passed.

Time was like that for everyone, but especially for Evan. The Sight made it so time folded into itself like a Mobius strip, end and beginning the same, one continuous loop. He understood all too well what the Scriptures meant when God said “I AM the Alpha and Omega” but not well enough to explain it to anyone else.

They never noticed when he started living part time in the forest. He was often overlooked, ignored. Perhaps it was because he was odd, a misfit, and eccentric. He wasn’t dangerous, just different. There wasn’t a mean bone in his body. But he’d spent so long suppressing himself that he’d developed an allergic reaction, a reflex if you will, to having to fit himself into everybody else’s mold. It was like his soul was a size 14 and the only shoes he was offered were a size 8. It cramped him to shoehorn himself into their expectations, so he didn’t.

He wasn’t intentionally difficult, but he came off that way. So people avoided him, or overlooked him. At first this was problematic because he’d been taught he had to be sociable – that “no man was an island”. Later on, after innumerable examples of being let down by people he was supposed to trust, he understood. That “role” wasn’t meant for him, an outlier, but for them, the herd. It was meant to keep them safe, but mostly compliant and also. It wouldn’t do to let them roamon their own. They would get lost. And without their true GPS (God Positioning System) they’d never return.

He might never return to his home in the woods now. He couldn’t see how his vision of the House of Death (the treatment center) would come to fruition, but he knew it would. It always did. Now he knew only that he had to escape.

The fire had come up so quickly that he’d not had time to take anything. That was fine with him. A clean break was his kind of way after all.

He’d not stopped until he reached the harbor. The momentum of the adrenaline coursing through him was enough to make him run for several miles – enough to make sure he was well out of harm’s way. And now, with no further land before him, he stopped, breathless, to assay the situation. Roam along the coast? Or take the ship to parts unknown? It was time to have a chat with the harbormaster.

(Inspired by art of the same name by Dan McCarthy)