The storm had subsided once more. There have been many storms. The wanderer was weary, but he was not completely without hope, for as long as there is hope, he thought, there is something to strive towards. Countless days and countless nights adrift at sea among the turbulent waters, the scalding sun, and with nothing to drink except the sea water which made him sick, had chiseled away at his resolve to remain alive. He was starting to think it was just a matter of time until death.
– Why do I keep up this charade? There really is no point except to torture myself for a few more minutes, hours, days, whatever. I’d be better off drowning and letting the ocean take me.
It was then he heard a voice. An old voice. An ancient voice.
– You keep up the charade because it is the only order you know amidst the vast chaos of the ocean. You are but a tiny swirl in these waters, and that swirl, for a brief moment, moves in a seemingly predictable pattern. This seems comforting to you. But, ask yourself, is it really comforting?
– NO. No, this is not comfortable. This is torture.
– So, why do you hold on so tightly to that which tortures you?
– I don’t know. I suppose I still have hope that this boat will take me to land.
– But, that’s the thing. Land will do you no good now. You are a corpse. You are decaying.
The voice seemed to subside with that last syllable.
– Wait. Wait. Please…
Nothing. The voice was gone. But, how could it be, he thought. How could he be dead? He then recalled at least one hundred settings suns, and at least that many rising suns since he had been adrift with no water, food, clothes. He must be dead.
It was time to let go.