I just finished drafting the final fable in my upcoming book! I wrote the first lines of it back on March 31st, and it’s been a huge sprint of writing to get to this point. I’m taking a moment to breathe, and celebrate this achievement. As I’ve been writing longer fables for the book, ideas for shorter ‘flash fables’ have started to come to me, and I’m excited to share one with you today! As you read it, you might enjoy pairing the tale with a tune from Robert Haigh.
Gather round, dear friends, a new fable begins…
A lone castaway strolls along the beach. He hears a voice call out to him, and turns to see a sailboat approaching the shore. His gaze searches the decks for its crew, but to his alarm, he sees no one on board. The voice from the boat calls out once more, sending a shiver through his skin.
“I am a boat of stillness,” says the boat. “I am not a ship of war, waiting for my inevitable destruction. Nor am I a race vessel, chasing empty rewards. I seek only the solace that comes through stillness. Will you join me?”
The man ponders the boat’s cryptic offer. He has seen many battles, and carries many bruises. A life of stillness is a compelling proposition.
“I will,” says the man, as he hops on board.
On the first day, the boat moves gingerly, as if floating in a pond. The man sleeps soundly.
The next day, the boat reaches deeper waters. The waves jerk the boat up and down, left and right.
The man stares at the boat with expectant eyes, waiting for it to adjust and stabilize. But the boat does nothing, and the ride remains rough.
That night, a terrible storm overtakes them. Heavy winds rip at the mast. Lightning sets a sail on fire. Still, the boat does nothing. They spend the night thrashing to the whims of the winds and waters.
When the storm passes, the man confronts the boat. “You promised me stillness, yet delivered a journey of suffering!”
The boat replies, “If we had fought the waves, we’d be split in two. Through stillness, we survived the chaos.”