ocean wind

Posted on March 8, 2009



I’m on a cruise in the Caribbean, paid for by my job. Can you believe it? I can’t. They call it a conference. And there is some good learning going on. But what amazes me is the extreme consumption that this whole cruise-thing is designed for. How much food, booze, merchandise, gambling, and entertainment can 2000+ people consume? It is quite mind-boggling really; especially if we are mindful of the extreme poverty in this world . . . something that is always on my mind.

This ship is twelve stories above the water and three football fields long! Yet it is a mere speck on the ocean.

Every inch of the ship is designed to encourage extreme consumption; with 5 restaurants, 12 lounges/bars, a casino, an auditorium with Las Vegas-style shows, an outdoor movie theater, and a multitude of shops. The shore stops at the Cayman Islands and Jamaica and for one purpose only . . . consumption, of course, with tutoring on shopping and excursions of all kinds.

I’m a stranger in a strange land, here. If I allow the current to take me, I lose my bearings and become ungrounded. I forget who I am . . . the ground of my being.

For my sanity, I have to slip away to remember: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” I steal away from the glitz and the glamor, and noise and the clamor, to find something real. My favorite thing about being here is standing on the deck at night with this amazing, persistent, never-ending wind from the ocean pounding at my face in such a caressing sort of way. I hear the waves, smell the ocean, and feel its wind so powerfully. My soul cries out to the Creator of the ocean, the God of the skies, the Lord of the universe. I can do nothing but stand in awe and offer a song to the ocean, to the Lord of the ocean. I feel so tiny, so full of awe and wonder . . . so insignificant . . . in the face of such mystery.

“All these years of thinking

Ended up like this

In front of all this beauty

Understanding nothing.”

(Bruce Cockburn)

I stand; tiny, wondering, hoping;

Asking the Lord of the ocean:

Do you see me?

Can you hear my song?

Do you hear the cry of my heart?

Do you really feel my pain?

Do you really care about my joy?

Can you see me?

If not, we are of all creatures most pitiful:

As humans, we are uniquely given awareness and consciousness . . . but why?

Only so that we can grasp our despair . . . our insignificance?

Is it you that sends waves of grace washing over me

when I’m most desperate and overwhelmed?

Are you the “hound of heaven”

in persistent pursuit of me . . . of my heart?

A force more steady, persistent, and powerful than the ocean wind?

Do you hold me in your arms

Never to leave or forsake me

As a mother nurtures a child?

Why me?



To me, this will always be the mystery . . . as I sing to the ocean . . .