Power – The Siren’s Call

When I was a little girl, my grandparents had a book that fascinated me. It was a coffee-table-sized tome that covered my entire lap, filled with historic moments in world history. My favorites were the stories of shipwrecks (in wartime and peace). I never knew why they spoke to me… but as I got older, I wondered if I’d been on a sinking ship in a previous life. I mean, if I believed such a thing were possible.

Of course, one of the big stories was about Titanic, and much like my contemporary James Cameron it began a lifelong quest for me. He just happened to write and direct a movie before I could. Ha! As if!

In the late 1970’s, my parents took my sister and me on a trans-Panama cruise and after that, I was even crazier about ships than before. Not just ships that sunk but ships on the water. I watched every movie and television show that featured them. So, naturally, I started watching The Love Boat. I have a funny story about that, so if you’ve heard it, you may skip ahead.

A few years ago, I was in the grocery store when a big bin of cheap DVDs caught my eye. What do ya know, there was seasons 1 & 2 of The Love Boat. $5 each! I grabbed them, held them to my chest like newborn children and practically skipped to the checkout. Okay, I threw them in my cart.

Later that week, my husband and I got out the carrot sticks and water – okay, it was chips and coke – and sat down to watch. We put on the first disk – the pilot. Join us in our living room, please:

Me: Um, how long has this been on?

Husband: Ten minutes.

Me: We should try to watch until the end, right?

Husband: Right.

Me: This sucks, doesn’t it?

Husband: Yep.

And so ends the romanticism of The Love Boat. Pity.

However, my interest (and yes, romanticism) with ships and wrecks remained.

I thought of all the souls in their graves below the surface. There’s a whole other world in the depths.

Why am I bringing this up on a self-help blog?

I think it’s about the notion of Power. Who holds it? Who *thinks* they hold it?

We like to say that we have power over our own lives. In a way, we certainly do. We can choose how to react.

We like to believe that what we put out there comes back to us, and that is true, too. Sometimes.

Sometimes… it’s not about you or me at all. Just ask good people who weather horrible circumstances. Any number of horrific things can (and do) happen to humans all over the world. All. the. time.

Sometimes, good things happen to evil people. We shake our heads and wonder why.

Great bodies of water are ruled by something else (God, Goddess, Mother Nature?) and humans have been trying to outwit and tame her (him, it) for as long as we can remember.

Ego. Gets us every time. Why are we so sure we can control the world?

With all of our knowledge… there is still so much we don’t understand.

I love water… great bodies of water. But I also have respect. For the power.

I am trying to get my head around a concept and can’t quite articulate it.

Whenever a person goes out to sea, they can only do so much … it is out of their hands.

The world feels the same right now.

I have come to accept it.

We take our chances every day… and can only do so much to protect ourselves and those we love. There is a power greater than us at work.

It seems apropos to end with this poem.

The call of the seagulls, 
near the edge of the sea, 
is the lure that attracts men 
to their boats to test the sea. 
Waves dance a beckoning call, their waters to explore. 
Therefore, men set off in their boats 
to answer the wandering call.

However, to many a man 
the sea maybe a mistress, 
to others it is their downfall. 
The sea can be a harsh mistress, 
to some who come to call, 
as they make time there forever, 
deep in that watery bed

The storms she creates, 
when angry, 
has sealed many good men, 
to an eternal fate. 
So be warned my friends, 
before you fall for the siren’s call.
The sea can be a harsh mistress.

10 June 2007 


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