Hey Hi my lovelies! My name is Tanya Hooper and welcome to March Madness.
March Madness is a segment on the blog where by every Friday in march i am sharing a short story about a god!
If you are new here, welcome. I post blogs every Friday at 7pm about anything and everything writing and book related. If you are returning it is great to have you back. This weeks story is about Poseidon Jr. so please do be sure to click both the like and subscribe buttons as you settle in and enjoy this story!
It was upon my sixteenth birthday that I awoke to the realisation that my father, god of the sea, intended the stormy waters to be passed down to me. My years of watching over his shoulder as he ruled the deep blue world were to be over and I, as uncertain as I felt, was to take the reins.
“The waters are ruff, but my dear, that is because a smooth sea will never make for a strong sailor. But have faith, for the sea is vast and not all waters can be ruff forever, each ship that sails will face its storm but shall see some calm waters too.” Poseidon lectured. At the time these words flew above my head for I saw not the importance of struggle. If I were to have power I did not understand why I should not use that to calm the water and ensure the safe return of each sailor.
Though I have always found it difficult to understand, I have also always been intrigued by the ways of the sea. its ability to convince man that he is alone constantly baffles me. To watch humanity awaking in the morning to see nothing but barrelling water leading off into the horizon and then to see them retiring to the same view left me certain that the sea was a cruel trickster. It seemed to spend its time testing its occupants and pushing their mentality to its bounds. And time and time again they never seem to realise that if they were to look a little deeper it would become clear that they are anything but alone. How strange a thought it is to think yourself alone despite being surrounded by life.
I struggle to understand how a sailor holds his nerve for he knows that danger is woven into his life. Not only does humanity have to fear the winds and wild waters but below his feet exists a world of peril and uncertainty. A world in which beasts with pointed fins wreak havoc, taunting sailors and warning off curious adventurers. I have heard it insisted that these demons serve a purpose. However, I cannot help but wonder what purpose the bully of the sea could possibly serve to man? Some say it is to represent the moral other to Poseidon, if you dare to imagine. Poseidon himself however insists that the choices and actions the existence of sharks’ forces man to make will help to build character. however, I am yet to understand how.
Yet, amid all the panic these toothy fiends do bring, one can lose sight of the greater picture. For alongside every shark comes hundreds of others harmless lives. Dolphins and turtles and fish of all kinds, for example. They are all scattered across the globe and they live their lives unaware of the voyages floating above their home. Adventurers meanwhile, never truly knowing the souls below the water surface. Never seeing the spectacular colours and shapes and sizes of each other life amongst the waves. I fear it is as they are too sheltered or too focused on their destination that they do not see the beauty of their journey.
This inability to truly appreciate the beauties of the water leaves me questioning the dreadful choice of a sailor to live their life at sea. My mother always said “humanity never have seen the beauty of the sea. They have never stopped to listen to stories our whispering waves dare to tell for they fear they will not like the endings. They do not watch the sea turn to liquid gold as the sun sets over the water’s edge. Humanity do not see any of this as, to them, the water is merely a hurdle to their destination.” If only they would stop, occasionally, and breath in the salty air, for they may find themselves in a state of surprise as they like what they see. Be them a sailor, a pirate or an adventurer if they dare to dive below the waters peaks and open their mind to the other world that lay just out of sight, they may be fortunate enough to realise, there is so much more in life to discover.
For me, I wonder why father chose to stop the sea life and humanity from communicating. I hear so often sailors being told to respect the sea but how should they do this if they do not understand it. Picture the difference it would make if a shark, who has swum to the deepest depths of the sea bed, could share with humanity the hidden world down below which they are yet to see. Or imagine a dolphin who could guide the sailors as they navigated into unknown territory. Would life not be filled with so much more adventure if stories could be shared and adventures encouraged. Because, the way I see it, men and women do not usually search for an exciting journey as often as they prey for a safe one. They wish not to experience the thrills of the sea but rather wish to merely float by on their journey of plain sailing.
Yet please do not mistake my wish for humanity to experience more as ignorance. I understand that to sail one must keep his boat afloat. But is floating really the purpose of sailing? Or is it the basic things the crew must do to survive their journey. My father, Poseidon, must also see the want of people to simply sail by and therefore he must challenge them. I once wondered why it is that my father sent clouds across the sky, turning them from the colour of snow to steel to charcoal before eventually they had grown so dark they exploded spitefully spitting down upon their boats causing panic from the crew. Most boats survive these storms. Those who are brave and are willing to take on the challenge eventually sail through. But some are not so lucky. Those who have lost the motivation to fight any longer go down with their ships, sinking into the waters.
This threat of death is something Sailors, pirates and explorer alike face constantly, and each person has their own method to cope. For being surrounded night and day by the greatest threat to one’s journey can act as a constant reminder of everyone’s mortality. Some chose to paint charms upon the side of their boat, they do it for luck I suppose. Perhaps the signs are a symbol of peace to the sea or a mercy cry not to sink them. I’ve wondered on occasion who the symbols are truly for as not only those at sea fear the threat of the end but those at home must worry too. The symbols can be a promise that they shall safely return someday. For some they prefer to believe that life after death will exist. This is where the invention of sea myths has come from. The stories of sirens who have died at sea, but their spirits remain. They tell themselves these stories wanting to believe they will one day make it back home.
But not every ship will survive.
Each ship has its own course to sail for every sailor is partaking their own journey. My life has seen me watching over my father’s shoulder, learning the tricks of the trade. I have seen him place hurdles in front of sailors testing their strength and building their skill. I have watched crews become families as they work and live to keep one another safe and alive. I have seen their routes mapped out and watched them change as they realise that they cannot predict the sea and I have realised that no two journeys are ever the same. Some ships will go down in history as legendary. While others, like the titanic, have etched their place in society as histories greatest disasters. Black Beard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge shows that some journeys lead to infamy and the stories of some ships you will never know. For each ship is on its own journey and no matter how big or small, they have all sailed the same sea and faced the same challenged.
You see, I know feel ready to become the god of the sea as I have come to realise, the sea isn’t marked only by the ships we all remember, but also by the journeys humanity embark on every single day.
So there you have it, the second short story in March Madness: the month of the gods! I hope you enjoyed it. If you did please hit that like and subscribe button and be sure to share the post with your friends and family and feel free to leave a comment below sharing what you thought. Until next week – see ya!