The Silent Porch
When the man sat down on his porch, overlooking the ocean, he heard the birds, trying to discover unknown musical notes. Far in front of him the water tried to reach the dying sun. He wondered if the sea had a desire to become gold.
All of his life, he had been a fisherman, traveling up and down the coast looking for fresh fish. He knew the currents like his fingers, the waves like his veins, and the rocks under the water like the bones under his skin.
And now, he just sat there. He had sold his ship, which he had named the ‘Phantom Wave’, and would live out his last days on land. If you had told him during his fishing days he would die on solid ground, he would have thrown you overboard. He had always imagined himself going down with his ship during a mighty storm.
But then again, the ocean had changed and he as well. When the tall swordfish stopped passing the northern side of the island, the man had to catch smaller fish. And in the simple world that was the island, smaller meant less pay.
During his last year of fishing, he had felt frustrated with his aquatic world. He worked harder for less, and the Phantom Wave had to make more and more trips each day. The man was drowning in his work.
While he was sitting on his porch, he cursed the swordfish. Why would they leave these waters? Where did they go? He knew somebody had the answers, but he was to tired to go find that somebody.
No, the green earth would become his world now. And for old times’ sake, he could still watch the ocean from his porch. To have something to do every day, he had decided to write down everything he saw. He would walk for hours, over the beach, but over the jungle mountains as well.
First thing that struck him, was that the land was shaped like waves. It went up and down, and it reminded him of the peaceful rocking of his boat. After a couple of days discovering his new world, he already felt at ease.
After the mountains, the man started to explore the dark caves, with which the area was riddled. Inside, while flashing his torch, he was touched by the solemn silence, except for the dripping of drops of water. Only once had he known such a relaxed feeling, when he had explored the coral reef at the southern coast of the island as a young boy. The whooshing of the waves, and the silent movements of the lives in the coral community.
But every night, when he came back home, he had his dinner and sat down on his porch. It was then that his mind wondered back to the mighty swordfish. Why did they have to change not only their lives, but his as well?
Why would you leave, when we had all the world to ourselves? We didn’t need anything more, we didn’t need to want more than we had. Once, a long time ago, all we needed was the swelling of the ocean with the tides, and the crashing of the waves during our fights. And now you’ve even stolen that from me.
You went away, leaving me behind with nothing to show for. I’m a garden without a tree, a forest without the brown autumn leaves. The sea without the water. I shaped you, you meant something to this world, but only through me! How could you just leave?
The man sat back onto his porch, and took in the heavy evening air. It was over, he knew. The land had taken him, the sea would not swallow him. He belonged in his wooden chair, just as he belonged on his wooden boat on the water. Even though he wanted it to be different, he never truly was one with the ocean. His lovely ocean, his blue water, and shining sun. They only loved him once.
Enter your email address to receive notifications for author Simon Sileghem
You have been added to the notification list for author Simon Sileghem