Wednesday, December 21, 2011

· Journal Excerpt I: “The Schooner Harbour” ·

“A vast country that stretched far, across many miles from the strands of the shore. Meadows of green grass, whose blades shook to and fro, touched by the always tender passing of a blow. From the lowest regions near the sandy dunes of the beach, to the high knolls and hillocks that lined through the far-off grounds, a large amount of trees would length their twig-fingers high towards the grey, clouded sky; and their leaves would fleet and travel across the spaces, following the stern, roaring call of the tumbling waves of the Sea, ever crowned with Vs of screaming gulls. This nameless ocean came meeting the pearly sand in shifting fancies, as the paralians would often perceive: sometimes thundering, ripping with fury the end of the plains; and other times, elegantly calm, with a smooth and quiet voice that even so could be heard from every part of the land; and so they learned to live with the menacing blueness, acquiring a vast knowledge of all things nautical. And by the slopes of the rocks that dwelt between green and blue, there lay the wooden boards of a harbour.

Built with a prowess beyond reckoning, detailed and tended for with greatest care, every feature crafted to be both functional and fair. For about twenty miles it extended itself, going deep into the eternal woods, blending the tall columns and arches with the forms of the living trees; lines of rope that beautifully connected them would suspend bright lanterns that cupped the light, a light that could not have come from the Sun, for her face would be ever shrouded by the fog; and yet their silver glow pervaded like a gathering of fireflies, static in their flight, illuminating the night with the aid of many stars and constellations unknown to foreign eyes, clung and spread across the dark. Countless roads, like gleaming rivers of rock and wood ran about this harbour-city, with a great deal of houses and shacks meeting them at their doorsteps: small architectures, all white in colour, housing the few who live by the Sea, a small society of a silent people gladly ignoring the outside world, and by the world ignored. A great number of these buildings were close to the moors, a wharf-market of few town-like necessities, such as a baker, a nursing home, stores of paraphernalia and liquor places, they all stood humble in front of the waves, but often closed and deserted. At the most central sites, there were the homes of the paralians, likely silent and dead, and as the roads led further into the forests’ holds, there were the sacred shrines and vaults of The Schooner Harbour.

Much lore was reported to be concealed inside these sacred retreats, and behind their bleak walls were cultivated in high-esteem the teachings of patience, deliverance, severance and acceptance. It is said The Schooner Harbour is the remote place where all the weary-hearted and likewise wounded spirits came in search of rest; and as the years vanished by, these tarried travelers erected their own small vaults inside the domes of the Monastery, and so it is: a Monastery, yet filled with numberless graves of those who sleep, far more sumptuous and beautiful than the houses of the living folk; honourable, kingly, well-deserved beds for those who toiled and at last, slumber. Such was the importance of the Harbour.

Yet dimmed and withered is the knowledge about this land that few visit, today; for it is impossible to cross the enchanted paths of the ocean when bound for it, unless there is a great necessity, rather than curiosity. And so this country became known as The Schooner Harbour, the City by the Sea: many schooners and tall ships, small rowing boats and swift caravelles, all reached its borders brimful with the Sad and Dispossessed. And fewer considered leaving those safe arms, so there is not much to report. Nowadays, there is but one schooner – of the ones built by the shipwrights of the city – that comes and goes every now and then: the tallest, fairest and swiftest of all vessels, named Through Waves (otherwise known as the Saint Sebastian), for it wandered through the moving ridges of the murky waters, bearing those who wish to depart and arrive. No more than two or three come at time, and her captain is now an old and fatigued man.

There are also legends concerning the gypsy-folk that lived far from the ocean’s breath, nestled in the holts and forests at the very edges of the city-harbour. Known as “the liberators”, descended from the ether of worlds above, one foot up and one down; mostly shapeless and invisible, specters of higher planes and existences that came down to The Schooner Harbour to serve as the monks of the Monastery, so it is told. Sometimes clad in forms of goat-men, horned and comely, with brown hooves and long hair, and other times dressed in black robes with flowing auburn locks, they were free from all the cravings and prisons of the flesh-cell, and would comfort the newly-come foreigners and direct their processes of healing and understanding, called as “deconstruction”. Nothing more is accounted about these people, whose dendroglyphs would be etched in most of the beeches and ashes of the outlying groves; but there are tales of white bulls and ceremonies for the dead still widely known by the paralians.

So the years and ages passed, and the facts and stories about The Schooner Harbour became gradually thin: a land of Sleepers, the Otherworld, Forgotten Shores and Refuge for the Dispossessed. A place that lives mostly on the memories sung and tended by the ship Through Waves and her captain Raine Holtz, preserving its purity and fragile honesty for those who still seek asylum from the awful burdens of life.”