The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that’s kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship’s direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights ‘gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness again; for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe!
Know ye, now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
The Lee Shore, Chapter
Bulkington makes but a brief appearance in Moby-Dick. In fact, he’s a bit of a tool. And yet, I am so glad he is there because this is my absolute favorite chapter of the book.
Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea.
I’m a fan of supper and warm blankets, but I also am occupied by a soul which makes her intrepid efforts to ever seek the open independence of her sea.
Am I afraid I say too much? Am I afraid I will post things that will come back to haunt me? Oddly, no. Or maybe yes, a little. My brain is operating this week in compartments I was not aware it held.
I suppose the greatest danger would be that I am lost in fabricated truth, that I am making up the truth as I go along.
I was raised in a well stocked port, and fled its hospitality. I fled its institutions. I have sought out alternative insulated Tahitis, but one day woke up and damned if I wasn’t here again, washed back up on the slavish shore.
So again I stand up and flee. My soul forever on her intrepid effort.
Come with me, or stay behind. I have passengers so precious I cannot risk dashing them on the rocks. I have a journey to make and there is room for all, but you have to know, I am not seeking the usual answers.