“Which way to the doldrums?” asked the outbound schooner.
“There are many ways,” replied the lighthouse, the authority on all such navigational questions. “Many ways, such as Loss, Laziness, Exhaustion, Grief. There may be others. Why would you want to go there?”
“I don’t,” said the schooner. “I want to know my way back.”
“Ah, but you never get out the same way you go in. No backward sailing in our seas; it’s one of the first rules.”
“There are many paths out,” said the lighthouse. “Hope, Industry, Healing, Joy…”
“Oh! Oh!” cried the ship, enlightened. “Out of Loss, the path of Hope! Out of Laziness, Industry! Out of Exhaustion, Healing! Out of Grief, Joy!”
“Perhaps,” said the lighthouse enigmatically.
After a pause, he added “You can cross over. I’ve seen ships enter by Laziness and leave by Joy. Or enter by Grief and leave through Industry. It’s all been done. The important thing is to remember there is always a way.”
“A—a way?” asked the schooner timidly.
“A way home.”
“Perhaps I will find a new way,” offered the schooner, inspired anew. “Perhaps if all my crew rushed to the deck and blew hard into the sails and played merry jigs and danced…”
The lighthouse cleared his throat. “Yes. Then they would reach Exhaustion about the time the wind began to blow.”
The schooner blushed.
Silence stretched across the widening wake between the two, the schooner fragile, beginning to roll with the waves; the lighthouse erect, as it had been from the beginning.
I am exploring paths of Silence, Story, and Suggestion. I hope that one of them will lead me out. See further details on my new page.