Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 9th

"Grace is such a humiliation to the ego, and such a surrendering for the human need to achieve, that even most of church history has lived inside of the economy of merit. We have been offered so much more, but it only makes sense to those who have personally “suffered” the experience of unearned love."

Adapted from Simplicity, p. 121, Richard Rohr

I stole this from my dad's facebook page.

I'm getting more confident in my ship scenes, as I continue to pick up the vocabulary. I have to go back and lot and correct stuff. In my last scene, when I said the sails had been trimmed back, that was incorrect. Trimmed is when they are adjusted for the right angle to catch as much energy from the wind as possible, so that between the sails and the keel, the ship is propelled forward.

Reefed is when the the sails are drawn back, to prevent being over canvassed, a bad condition which could lead, in worst cases to the ship capsizing and certainly to damage to the rigging.


In the morning, the water was a scintillating expanse of rippling wave and sunlight. The air was fresh and clear and cold, but the sun’s heat felt a little stronger than before. Most of the deck had dried. The sails were fully unfurled; the ship was soaring over the blue and gleaming waters.

Gilly had had a breakfast of fried fish and rice, Pidguyok had eaten his fish raw on the deck, leaving a brilliant scattering of silvery scales over the planks and Tenshio had eating nothing at all, though he had drunk a cup of very hot tea.

He sat on the salon roof and closed his eyes, profoundly thankful that the seas were relatively calm, though the skimming motion of the ship did sent up wide arcs and sheets of spray. The rope railing was soaked.

Plum Blossom, having been retrieved that morning from the luggage, was now being introduced to the ship. She was shown the bowsprit that extended out over the ocean at the very front of the ship and to which were rigged three overlapped triangular sails, the jib, the flying jib and the stay foresail.

Below the bowsprit was a large rope net, which Gilly assumed was there in case people fell off, since she had seen crew members lightly walking along the length of the bowsprit from time to time, sometimes not even using their hands, a feat which had deeply and truly impressed her.

She longed to try it herself, but she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that any step of hers in that direction would cause Tenshio to spontaneously combust. She glanced over at him, covertly. He appeared to be drowsing in the sun, his eyes shut, his hands in his lamp.

She was not fooled; he was always paying attention. In fact, just that morning when she had been eating her rice, he had instructed her to sit up straight. This had offended Gilly’s sense of time and place; surely while on board ship, a person could not possibly be expected to eat with the same attention to manners as they would elsewhere. Surely it was like a picnic! But no. Table manners were still clearly expected to be followed.

Plum Blossom was shown the impressive foremast, which towered up over the bow of the ship, and the fore boom, the thick beam that extended out horizontally, fore and aft, over the main salon roof, towards the stern of the ship. The running and standing rigging, the ropes that held and maneuvered the massive foresail, were secured to these two beams.

Beyond the salon roof, closer to the stern of the ship, rose the main mast and this was even taller than the fore mast. The main boom extended out past the stern of the ship and securely held the main sail and its lines.

Under the main boom, on the quarter deck, was the wheel of the ship, with its iconic spokes that so delighted Gilly. She had touched them covertly, gently, in passing and the crew member who stood there had grinned down at her.

“Do you want to steer the ship, little girl?” he had asked, with the same sing song beauty of voice that Kaito spoke with. This crew member was broad and tall both, missing his right pinky finger, and wore his dreadlocks loose. Despite the chill in the air, he was barefoot and wore nothing but baggy trousers and a wool vest.

Caught in the grip of an agonizing shyness, Gilly could only mutely shake her head, though she lied. She did want to steer the ship; she longed to steer the ship. But she turned away and ran quickly down from the quarter deck to where Tenshio still peacefully sat on the main deck. She huddled up against him.

“You can steer the ship for a little while, if you wish to, Gilly,” Tenshio said to her with gentle amusement.

“No,” breathed Gilly. “It’s okay.”

“No, thank you,” corrected Tenshio, automatically.

“No, thank you,” repeated Gilly, resigned.

Pidguyok came trotting quickly from the bow of the ship, where he had been hanging off the railing by his front paws, his bushy tail alert as he had scanned the glistening waters below for fish. He threw himself down on the warm, dry deck, his ears pricked forward, his pink tongue hanging out his open mouth.

“One day, we’ll have our own ship, Gilly,” he stately happily. “Once upon a time. Or a long time from now, to be more exact. It will be made of mother of pearl, fish scales and whale bones. Our sails will be clouds caught from the sky, and they’ll take us straight through the morning light. We’ll eat fatty seals and drink elderberry wine and be the ruler of all we survey.”

“Captain Pidguyok!” cried Gilly, delighted.

“Admiral Gilly!” reciprocated the husky, generously.

“What will Master Tenshio be?” she asked, glancing up at his face. He looked down at her in surprise, not expecting to be included in their games.

“Why, His Honorable Reverence will be sea sick; as usual,” answered Pidguyok with a toothy and wicked grin.