Life Is A Comedy For Those Who Think...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 at 12:48 PM

Damn, I'm In Charge...

Tennessee Jed told me he saw a photo of The Queen Mary II over at Buddy Don's Wandering Hillbilly. It prompted him to write this enlightening story about a dream he had a few years ago.

Here is his reponse to bd's post:

Hey Now, what a ship! I understand having a boatload on your mind my friend. I have a most vivid dream story I would like to tell you about. I hope this doesn’t bore you too much or is too long to be a comment, but I wanted to share it, if I may. In the winter of 1999 I was facing the worst conditions of my life and was sleeping shallow and short when this vision of my life appeared in my media drenched, overburdened and semi-conscious mind.

I was walking along a wide boardwalk with consistent lampposts against a starry sky that did not seem familiar. While I was on this walk, there were strangely uniformed people snapping off salutes to me, as if I were the most important person in the world. The salutes were not military salutes. They were more just a smile, a nod and a foot movement that caused a pause in their step. It was the uniformity of the movements and dress that had me in the mind of some form of discipline. These people were familiar faces. They were not close friends just people of vague acquaintance whom I had never had a chance to get to know, but were always around, like a local store you see all the same folks shopping when you live in community. While acclimating to all this human attention, I started to notice the surrounding machines, hoists and railings on what was a huge deck speckled with lighted areas and people doing chores around these machines.

I only realized it was a deck at this time because beyond a certain defined and distant point there was no light except for the star patterns I did not recognize. The constellations were as if they were something my mind would guess the southern hemisphere’s sky to be with an “X” shape being a main feature and no big or little dipper. On my walk, I approached a raised tower that seemed to be my goal. It was the only thing that really broke the horizon of the deck. The tower was not at all a ships control tower, but more an open top scaffold made of uniform machined cross bars with a few evenly spaced marker lights. I wanted to be on that lookout more than anything, and the folks moving past me seemed to open the way with kind and respectful gestures that eventually led me to the stairs of this modest structure.

As I moved up the stairs I became aware of the size of this ship. It was intimidating me if I were in command like the people on deck had alluded. The outline rail lights of this place were a dashed white in a pitch black field. It was as dark as a Halloween cut out on black paper and would have been at least as wide as a football field is long, and five times that from front to back. I realized at that point I could not determine my direction of travel nor could I discern the rear from the front of this vessel.

At the top there was a man more familiar to me. He was not a close acquaintance just a man I could place at work. I had known his first name at one time, but it was lost. I felt better seeing him there, as he looked in charge with some markings on his chest that was different from the other uniforms. His face was the kind of face I had noticed because I saw him working and he held his brow in such a way that seemed wise and confident, even though he was obviously younger than me. His gaze and features were strong and more certain than I ever felt. He was a studious sort of fellow. He always kept large bound books on his rolling tool cabinet that were not machine manuals, like my cohorts and I. He adorned glasses that seemed a part of his face since childhood and dark facial features not definable to a certain race. He was working a sextant type device. Beside him was a huge book of numbers in rows and columns on a very technical looking table. The table held an adjustable lamp. The lamp was the kind used to aid in the navigation of stars but not interfere with the viewing of them. It was dim but sufficient. I had never visited his workstation properly, to find out what these books were because meeting people at this huge machine shop was risky business as the management kept a constant threat on us to mind our own duties and not visit neighboring processes unless you saw someone in peril.

When he heard me arrive, he took his eye from the eyepiece and gave me a similar, but more relaxed salute than the others. I awkwardly returned the favor and spoke, “Where are we?” not wanting to follow it up with an unsure name, I was thinking it was Doug, but did not want to risk it. He replied, “Well Captain, I am not sure”. My heart jumped, “damn I am in charge”. My mind whirled because my question should have been, “where am I”. “Well what do you know so far?” I asked. His reply sent chills up my forearms, which I noticed at that point had bright metallic stripes on the cuff unlike any uniform onboard and worried me further. “Well” he said, “It seems as if the charts are out of season with the stars like some shift of season, and the known coordinates and dates are messed up. The stars are not where they are expected to be, from where I last charted”. I though it would be best if we called someone to help us chart our course, but something told me that was not an option. I asked “Can we just proceed back along our path, to where we last charted correctly and go from there?” “You mean dead recon back?” he asked. “That’s risky since things have changed so much”. “Well then just proceed along out current course and perhaps things will look different tomorrow night” I told him, and woke in a clammy but familiar skin.

I looked for the familiar face at work. I spoke to people in the shop asking where he was. No one seemed to know of whom I spoke. Since this dream I have wondered if I steered those folks from their lost course or if we all are still adrift without knowing where we are. -Tennessee Jed

I think this story is relevant to all our lives. Even when things seem out of our control it truly is us who are in charge of our own helm.

Blogger buddy don said...

whut a evockativ tale ye writ. tiz loded with meanin, sir. tiz a habit with mos folks (startin with me, fer instunts) to thank thar lives aint rite on a counta tuther feller or the power that be n such. but fack is, we are in cuntrol, probly moren we ever know. as ye suggest in yer retellin of the dream, bein in cuntrol kin be a huge shock to yer system. i lack how when ye larn taint easy to go back, ye tell em to keep a'goin ford. sumtimes i thank thats the verr bes a bidy kin do.

taint lackly i wood fergi the images frum this dream innytime soon. ye say twuz dreamt durin the one of the lowest times of yer life, witch that suggest ye found a way ford even ifn ye dint know eggzackly whar ye wuz. i add mire that.

nicely writ, sir!  


Blogger red molly said...

Tennessee Jed, I hope you get a chance to read the comment I posted over at buddy don's blog.

Thanks for writing such a great story.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very useful read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone learn that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.  


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