The Chronicles of Captain Chimera


In these dark, interminable hours that wrap around my mind before the dawn, I watch the irrepressible shapes dance before my eyes. I try desperately to translate the communicative efforts of my subconscious into something I can understand; something I can steal from the shadows and carry into the light of the awaiting day.

There! Between the shadows and shapes: a vigorous warrior, an untiring hunter! His sword burns with a flame of intensity, slashing and destroying his enemies that approach like panthers out of the darkness.

I call out to him, “Who are these you attack?”

“I am the defender of my people,” he replies.

“From what do you defend them?” I ask.

“From blindness, from ignorance, from insensibility and from neglect,” he answers, as his sword sweeps down and severs yet another ghostly umbrage.

The light of his flaming sword then slowly evolves into a crack of light, creeping in through the window shutters: day has arrived!

Rising slowly, I stagger to the window and open the shutters for light. The room, as if inured to drudgery and distress, gives way to the persuasions of this intermediary of dance and cantos; illuminations that speak to me of seductive movement that reveal, in radiant displays, the beauty that fills every song of sweetness.

There is an old Um-Bororo saying: "No matter where we are in the world, we always occupy the same amount of space.” But the space is always changing and we, we along with it. So what space will I fill today and how will that space affect me? Precious life; what deep realities flicker before my conscience like chariots waiting to carry me beyond blindness? If the sun and the moon should give way to doubt and kneel before the eminence of death, who would give us tomorrow?

Rising with the susurrus of a new day, I feel my body awaken, as if from a sleep that found comfort in the stagnation of my blood and the putrefaction of my bones. Outside the air is still, unusually still, causing an unfamiliar pulse to strike at my bones. We will make little progress today.

The morning hours drift by the hull of my ship with an effort less motivating than watching ether dull the senses into unconsciousness. This stillness gravitates my thinking toward the mores of this floating collective. We pause from the activities that give purpose to this wooden composition upon which we call this day life. Such habitual activities draw the mind away from the depths of its power, like the trophy head of a lion mounted above the fireplace. A reflection of possibilities, a reminder of its strength, but caged by a species that places the impression of glory above beauty and respect for the rightful place of things among the living.

Some of the crew rest on deck, while others laze within the confines and fill their belly’s before the caboose. We drift to the will of the currents. There is no wind. Solemn thoughts reveal themselves on the face of every man. From that of those that dance alone within their hearts, to fond memories of places and events. This is solitary love. Attempts are made to try and recollect, no, recreate with words these memories that shimmer beneath the skin, searching the sky as if the perfect descriptive word would appear for the plucking. But no words can interpret the shadow of a dream and no dream can be transplanted into the minds of others. What do we have, but memories, when the activities that drive our purpose fade away?

But what good are memories tomorrow?

Yesterday is the slimy track behind a snail. It exists, as an indication of life’s passing, not as a description of its character or a painting of its life. Today we have and “now” is the only place we can call our own. Within the stillness there is movement. Where is the insightful eye? Where is the sense that detects the destination of the current's flow that carries us silently into tomorrow?

Here, alone, I am the battlefield; within me there is war. Imperfection and destructive trends are my internal enemies. Death calls for satisfaction; with her web she cloaks my ignorance and with her poison she numbs my insensibilities. Today, I will not neglect the light, nor the space between Chimera and tomorrow…

The End

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