Short Story Based on Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea
The sea, with its boundless beauty, lures him toward the spirit of grand adventure.
The land offers the stability (as well as spiritual stagnation) of family life.
Ryuji's tragic death after forsaking his life of adventure on the high seas for the fatuous roles of father and husband implies that man is impotent when his quest for a Grand Cause is lost.
The following short story personifies sea and earth to portray this theme.
----------------------------------------------------Morning rays of sun sparkle magically on the sleeping Sea.
The cargo ship sways gently, noiselessly, on her back.
A slight wind whispers to this spectacle with the delicacy of a prayer.
It tosses up little ripples that playfully catch the light as if it were a toy.Sea awakes.
She rolls a wave over the length of herself the way a woman might glide her arm gently across her dimpled cheek or belly, a touch to remind herself of her beauty, of the sensuality of womanhood.
She rolls over beneath the sun, warmth beginning to tingle in her icy depths.
She thinks of her lover, the sailor Ryuji, still sleeping soundly in his rocking hammock on his ship, the Rakuyo.
She rolls a few waves gently under the boat to wake him from his slumber.
She thinks of his passionate dreams of her, and for the greatness she holds deep within herself as an oyster might clutch a priceless pearl within its pink folds of flesh.
It is almost teasing him, she thinks, the way she keeps all of the answers to his Grand Cause always out of reach.
Again and again, she tests his faith and patience with time.* * *Earth grumbles from crust to core.
He is awoken by the playful lapping of Sea against his brittle back.
She, he thinks, is a perpetual annoyance.
She is fickle, changing, always creeping into him, eroding him away.
She lacks substance, even purpose, really.
She is not tied down to anything, she has no stability.
All that she does is beat against him, constantly destroying his still, his calm.
If only he had some way to voice his reproach for her.
Suddenly, Earth feels a strange presence.
It is a man, but unlike any other, although he is of substance, he is infused with all qualities of Sea.
Every movement of this man is focused on some great shining thing that Sea only holds.
Earth immediately understands the strange connection between the two.
A bitter anger swells inside of him.
How dare the Sea hold so firmly in her grasp a Man, a creature of Earth?Suddenly, Earth understands just how he must regain his nobility from the hands of disgrace in which Sea strangles him.
He must seduce this man away from her in the form of a human woman.* * *A hot rain boils down from the sky and drenches Ryuji's stark white sailor's uniform.
The rain mingles with his own sweat and drips steadily down his brow.
The Rakuyo has just pulled into port.
He is not looking forward to this shore leave, for land holds only harsh memories and pain for him.
It is only while sailing through soft waves does he feel peace within himself.
With his first steps onto shore, he senses a faint wavering uneasiness, as if only anguish and misery await him here.* * *There is only one gift of parting the Sea can offer Ryuji, that is rain, her tears, her blood, given in sacrifice to their love.
Each time they separate, she worries he will not come back to her.
This time the feeling is stronger, deeper.
It is a fear that drives her mad, wild, frenzied.
The sky blackens, and huge, dark waves swell and beat the shore like angry fists.
She hopes that he will remember her.
She prays that he will remember her.* * *A ship's horn wails in the distance.
The long kiss is broken.
Ryuji's heart swells once again with his love for Sea.
A warm Eastern wind delicately strokes his hair like a lover.
For a passing moment, he remembers the life he is gently being pulled away from.
It has been over a month now since he met Fusako and her son Noburu.The perfection of it, the ease of it, to have a family already formed for him.
To have a beautiful and wealthy woman willing to marry a sailor like himself.
The security of it is almost too perfect.
Yet, despite his reservations, he finds himself falling deeper into the lives of this woman, her son, and the "land life" which he once despised.
They can marry, she tells him.
He can take over the business.
Noburu will finally have a new father, she tells him.
More and more, this becomes his reality.* * *He grows dim.
Sea is tempestuous in her misery.
She knows that Ryuji is hardening.
With every step inland, he is forgetting his desire for her, for all that she has for him.
He is becoming all that she is not, steadfast and rigid, his sense of adventure dying away.She knows he has gone too far away to come back.
He forgets, though, she has cared for him, she has raised him like a mother, that he is her.
Now, it is with the vengeance of a scorned woman that she will punish him.
While her spirit atrophied in him, it brightened in the boy child Noburu.
Now this boy is hers as Ryuji once was.* * *The cup shakes in Noburu's trembling hand.
He feels no regret.
Killing this man is like curing the disease that infects manhood, bringing it sterility, depriving it of motion.
He looks down the hill, past the face of his "father" swilling the poison, to the perpetual miracle of the pure Sea.
A wave longing for her rises within him.