Stormy Seas by Susan Joyce
19-25 July, 1975
Time is but an illusion--Einstein
Rough seas pounded us for days. Raging walls of water put us in constant danger as the ship heaved back and forth.
The men kept vigil during the intense storms for signs of other ships in the area. Charles mentioned that the cross bar on the main mast was plunging into the water, then jolting back to the other side when the ship rolled side to side. "Keeping watch is the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind. Watching the course indicator and other instruments keeps my mind occupied," he said. "I feel sick, weak from lack of food and sleep."
"Not exactly pleasure yachting," I added.
He grimaced in pain.
A frustrated Dylan made several attempts to get a read on our location with no success. Sometime later he announced,
"Strong winds are taking us further east than planned."
"Are we lost?" I asked. Lost at sea. I shuddered at the thought.
"We'll get back on course," Dylan said, trying to calm our concerns. He grabbed a cup of coffee and headed back up on deck.
Seconds later, he yelled for Jake to help him lower the sails. "Twister, heading our way."
"A twister and fierce winds could capsize the Zozo," Charles said bounding up the stairs to help.
Sails lowered, Dylan closed the hatch to keep water from pouring into the galley below.
Huddled together in the galley, we sat silent for sometime, listening to the angry sea turn our world upside down. This scary situation was happening in the middle of nowhere—the Indian Ocean. We were at the mercy of nature. No place to run. No other ships in sight to rescue us. Nothing to do except wait for the storm to clear while Zozo did a wild, crazy dance.
Charles seemed quite depressed and sat in a corner cleaning his fingernails with a penknife. I had hoped to find alone time to ask him about Mia's strange question. It would have to wait for calmer seas and clearer thinking.
Mia and Jake also seemed distraught. No wonder! We were all discouraged, knowing we were in real danger. The storm was wreaking havoc on our frayed nerves. It was scary to even think about. My fears rose and fell with each mountainous wave. I could feel the ship's every motion.
"What does your book say about time?" Mia asked, out of the blue.
I hesitated, then answered. "Time is infinite. It begins and ends, ... and continues, all at the same point."
"At the same exact moment?" She looked puzzled.
"Yes," I answered.
Charles looked at me, like I had just fallen out of the sky. Rattled by the raging storm and turn of events, he scowled. Obviously pissed that he got himself into such a dangerous situation without thinking it through. And now he's having to deal with babble as well.
Jake smiled. Seemed to find the idea entertaining. "Linear time is an artificial construction," he inserted.
“I don't think life is linear,” I added.
“How can you be certain?” Mia asked.
“I can't, but nothing in nature is linear," I said.
"Where does time exist?" Mia asked.
"Inside us," I answered. "It's something humans invented. A math formula to help us understand the world we live in."
"Useful way to organize society." Jake said.
"So reincarnation is continual?" Mia asked.
"The continual cycle of birth and death, and grasping and learning from the different experiences." I answered.
"Karma," Mia said.
I nodded. "Hindus believe that crossing water is a symbol of salvation."
"In Judaism too," Jake added.
"Like when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea?" Mia asked.
"Yes, they were protected and saved," I added.
"Hindus also believe that the body is the boat and the soul is the sailor."
"Perhaps this isn't all there is ..." Mia said, her voice drifting off.
"Good," Jake said, throwing his hands up. "Cause this sucks."
"Sure does," Charles said, getting up to take his turn on watch.