reflection

 The attached is hopefully a success-it should be a video!

It has been 9 days since my return from being a passenger on a container ship. I had no idea how blessed I was until I saw the wonders of the sea and the sky and the many freeing moments I was given out on the open seas.

I hope the video works! I have been computer lousy all of my ownership of one-today is no better.

The scene in the video should be of the rough sea. It was beautiful and powerful all at the same time. I had been standing in the bridge of the ship watching the bow plow through the waters and rise up as if it was going to come right out of the water only to plow back in. There was a ship parallel to ours and in the video you can see how we were tossed about.

I told the Captain that it was beautiful and he replied that for captains it is only beautiful once and the rest of the time it is worry. I understood, but the power and strength in the sight of it all was like watching Niagara Falls flow horizontally.

There were so many messages through all of the void that the sky and ocean combined creates. I have spent the past week exhausted from being hypnotised and mesmerized from the awe of it. Trying to adjust to the color of green that coats my area from the fresh Spring leaves and the grasses growing on the side of the road.

I could not imagine the truth that it was and that I was there, for real and for honest-I was there. I know the sea was a place I should have been for a long time. Wonders unimaginable were out there, stars sparkled the sky in a way that no one could guess. The waves with their constant white-caps kept tricking my eyes, but then to replace the trickery came hundreds of dolphins, even thousands, sounding like an audience clapping as the hit the waters.

I took this trip to try to realize what it was that I missed when my military time should have been spent on a ship and not in detention barracks D.

The ship was over 900 feet long and could carry a load of 6000 semi-trailer containers. It was manned with a crew of 21 men. There were only three other passengers, I made number four. We never saw the crew except at meals. In between the ship seemed isolated and I was alone a great portion of my day. I relished the privacy that was a gift to enjoy the Spiritual message too, in quiet and peace.

Spiritually I saw many great evidences that my journey was a part of the right path towards healing from my trauma. The nightmares I had aboard were signs that it will never go away-horrid dreams of prisons. That I wished had not happened, but was frequent. Yet the scene aboard the ship during the quiet hours was in a sense like my working in a funeral home many years back to try to understand death. I cannot understand the trauma and cannot understand why. I would go up on the bridge of the ship and sit in the pilot’s chair, it became my favorite spot to go. In my head I could pretend that things had been different and that I was in charge of the ship. I had the solitude there too. The two men on watch and I hardly spoke, almost as if they knew it was silence and meditation that brought me there.

I had no idea that our return trip had us pass the Naval Station on the James River, the place where barracks D was, and still might stand. I could see the entrance to the base, the exact place where I was handed my discharge papers. Our ship was piloted right past the mooring where the USS Vulcan tied. It was all too surreal. We sat there from dawn until late afternoon and the tugs came and pushed us back out to sea.

It was entering Savannah the next morning the sight we passed coming up the river was a ship passing us going to sea. The ship was named the Viet Nam Express.

I could not believe the strangeness of the spiritual meaning of these two ending curtain calls of this incredible journey. My guilt about not being legitimately wounded in combat was over shadowed by the massive ship going past us at the end of the trip. My emotions were already touchy because attachments to new friends had been made on the 5 week trip, many of the comrades I had come to know had become my friend. Two worlds of language separated us. The six officers were Croatian, and the lower ranking plus the labor crew were Filipino. We knew friendship from our hearts instead of from our words. Our words were confounded from worlds apart. I arrived home that Friday night and wept from the goodness that God had given me in allowing me this trip.

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