Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The island that wasn't there

So, for several days down on Oak Island--don't tell anyone about it, I don't want more people there....--I'd been looking out at the horizon at an island. I didn't quiet think it could be Bald Head Island since it was so close to Southport, but what do I know? During the day I could see parts of the island sticking up above the long away horizon--you can see for I don't know how far from Oak Island. At night I saw lights, thinking whoever was there was having a great evening--lots of seafood, good alcohol, music and mirth. The third day I pointed the island out to my friend, John, reading his Kendal...some sci-fi novel he downloaded in ways that confound me.

'It's a boat,' he said, glancing up only momentarily.

'But it has been there since we arrived,' I countered, 'it must be an island.'

'A boat,' John said.

"But there are lights at night,' I responded.

'Boats have lights at night,' he said, reading about some alien invasion of a world that doesn't exist.

'So why is it just sitting there if it's a boat?' I asked, thinking that would end the discussion and we'd both look at the island.

'Damned if I know,' he replied, giving me a look that indicated he was tired of wanting to talk about my island and his boat and wanted to read in peace about wierd stuff happening in a Sci-Fi world.

The next day, it was gone, after I'd told everybody it was Bald Head Island. Since islands don't normally simply disappear, except in science fiction, it had obviously been a ship, parked for several days off the coast of Southport for reasons no one I know could explain.

It is much like the dog that wasn't there, the island that wasn't there, except a dog is a creature and an island is a place. Creatures and places are different.

Since I have very few thoughts at the beach that aren't 'random thoughts', I had a random thought about the island. Here is what that thought was: "Damn it all, it was a boat...."

I'd lived 64 hours or so looking at an island that was a boat. What senses can I really trust? None, I'd say.

Realizing you can't trust your senses, that what you think is 'real' isn't, that the universe is more subtle and ironic than you can imagine....Well, that might be the beginning of wisdom in some subtle and ironic way....I don't know, but maybe....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.