“For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!” MOBY DICK, Herman Melville
Melville likened the depths of a man’s soul to Tahiti, a dot of island in the Pacific Ocean. He used the adjective “insular” to describe Tahiti. Uncivilized, provincial, backwards, remote. But the island was “full of peace and joy” even though it was surrounded by an ocean of horrors. It was primitive, untouched by modern complexities.
How is your “Tahiti” today? Feeling encompassed and threatened? Relax! Many centuries ago a psalmist wrote, “Be still and know.” Be still! Relax and then know God. But first, be still. Stop striving with the world and be still. Find that quiet space and be still for it is there in stillness that the guiding light of truth will create an island of peace and joy illuminating the dark, ominous corners of life.
Even so, the worldly oceans, as in Melville’s day, remain deep and ominous filled with treacheries that cannot be fully understood by mankind. Contemporary life is frightening for those who do not have an island of tranquility offering safety and comfort. It is equally frightening for the ones who have discovered their Tahiti and yet observe from afar the continuing pummeling of winds and waves upon its shores.
“God keep thee!” Therein lies our truth, does it not? God will keep thee and me. The greater power to which we turn during our earthly struggles confessing our worldly fears will be the victorious captain in the storms of our lives. That power provides shelter from the assaults of society’s insanity while instilling a peace and understanding which transcends our physical world. The violence surrounding the soul’s island cannot penetrate when we vigilantly live this life honoring our truth. Creatures of the deep darkness are powerless when bound in chains by the dominating brilliance of our Tahiti.
We dare not abandon our island when threatening skies loom on the horizon. Instead, we take refuge within the learned words and verses of sacred writings, we turn our eyes toward the clear blue skies where hope lies, and we acknowledge with reverence that power which has always kept us and always will keep us from spiritual harm. Our ultimate truth is that we are spirits dwelling in physical forms. Physical bodies shall die but spirit is eternal. Protect and cherish the indwelling Tahiti. Never leave it!
This journey I am on, the same journey all of us undertake, has met its share of stone walls, dead ends, and heartbreak. What seemed like a terrific idea yesterday becomes today’s need to backtrack and regroup. A person who comes aside and walks that path with me briefly decides to take the alternate route lying ahead and becomes just a memory of good times. The opportunity not taken shows up later in life as one of those “I told you so” moments. It can be a tortuous life through hell we build for ourselves or a meandering trek through serenity. We have the ability to make that choice.
I write as larrypaulbrown and as gabbygraywhiskers. Larry is the idealist, the one who sees the possibilities of life through rose-colored filters and believes in the innate goodness of mankind and the infinite power of an incomprehensible, undefinable God. Whatever turmoil and hostility abounds in the world, Larry believes it can be conquered by love and compassion.
Gabby on the other hand is a realist. He relates his world view from the experiences of a life deep in the nitty-gritty of addiction, disappointment, and social disapproval. His personality is a composite of the people who have joined in his journey through life. His world view is tempered by the harshness of ignorance and misunderstanding. Gabby is more of an in-your-face kind of man who sees injustice in the world and wants to single-handedly and vociferously confront it and then fix it. The compassion he envisions is backed by a good ole boy creed which ridicules and challenges stupidity. He’s got something to say and, “dang it, you’re gonna friggin listen.”
I continually struggle with these two personas that fill my brain with thoughts and writing material. Sometimes I think that, yes, dementia is finally taking over. But, more often, I simply go with the flow and allow whomever has a pressing need to vocalize to take the pen and fill the page with the my ramblings.
My goal is not to be published, not to become a noteworthy blogger, not to become a recognized name in writing circles. I merely want to touch lives in a meaningful way.
“Aw hell, there Larry goes again with that mushy crap. NosirreeBob, what we’re gonna do is change the friggin world whether the world likes it or not.”
Me and Larry, my creator, ain’t hitting it off too well lately. He thinks my English usage sucks and what he calls “irreverence” is inappropriate. Well, la-de-da Mr. Goody Two Shoes, life sucks and life is irreverent. There ain’t nothing about living in this world that follows any “life is grand” script. Of course I need to watch my Ps and Qs cause he could pull the plug on me and Gabby would be forever just another has-been wannabe writer.
Oh, I know. We all try to live with principles and ideals, but when a fella thinks about it, most folks don’t give a big whoop-de-do about those things. NosirreeBob. Most folks is out for themselves trying to get over on their neighbors and just looking at what’s in it for them. Gimme, gimme, gimmee. More, more, more.
Hell, look at the man America elected as President. Do you really think he gets up in the morning and thinks, “Now, what am I going to do for my fellow man today?”
Nope, it’s all about Donnie and lil Donnie and I ain’t talking about Donald Jr. YessirreeBob. That’s one self-indulging, lying, faithless piece of human flesh pretending to be somebody special. Makes ya wonder about all them folks that elected him. Do ya truly believe they love their fellow man? Hell no. Them fat-assed, bigoted, privileged, good ole white boys is just afraid of an America that ain’t run by other white boys exactly like em.
Well there, I’ve said it. Been festering in my mind for a long time. Go ahead, call me names, take away my birthday cause I don’t give a rat’s ass anymore. And good ole Larry can kiss my fatooty if he don’t like it. Oops….oh please, don’t unplug me.