The Storm and the Sparrow

Watching him, standing at the helm, head lowered but with his teeth bared in that gold-filled grin of his that can also be a threat, it is hard to tell if he is fighting with the sea, with the thunder and the waves and the threat that hangs over his ship, our lives . . .or if he is merely playing with it.

It is an intricate game, a game with rules that no other heart or mind could ever twist around to follow, but a game nonetheless.  This is what he lives for, a sustenance that he needs just as much as a normal man needs food.  Without the game, the rush, the thrill of not so much battling as merging his will with his lover, his mistress, his dream, he would not be the same.

He knows that if he loses the game, if he does not at least manage a draw, she will claim him, claim all that he has claimed and swallow it whole, and I cannot doubt he cares.  Still, I cannot help the fear, the uncertainty, that arise each time he begins the game anew.  I do not wish to die.

All it takes is one glance at him through the wind, the rain, the screams of his living dream, at his cocky grin and fierce determination, and I know that tonight will not be the night that he loses the game.  He catches my eye, and I can see that he knows, as well, as he laughs, the sound merging with the intoxicating drum roll of the thunder, a wild mockery of the drum roll that would see men like him hang.

It is a game, a wild, deadly, fierce game, one that I know he will eventually lose, as no man can ever hold the favor of the sea forever.  I think, though, that he will hold it longer than most could, for he understands her, reads her, accepts her as what she is, and he understands that there is no personal malice in what she does.

After all, for something that has always been and will always be, nothing can be truly grave, save the dead, and the dead do not know enough to play the game with her and break the monotony of eternity.  That is why he smiles at her antics . . .that is why he laughs for me, to tell me all is well . . .

That is why the sparrow will fly through, and not around, the storm.