The Passing Stranger, The intrepid Sailor and  the Silent Captain
12
Oct

The Passing Stranger, The intrepid Sailor and the Silent Captain

By Francesca Lombardo

A Story narrated in rhymes  on injustice, on the arrowing effects of misues of power, and failing justice systems
and society, on the justice defectors and truth deflectors.

FrancescaLombardo©September2018

And for that bent telephone box knifed, subjected and muted, there is always a 9 years-old kid character out there that goes by the name of Beatrice, who can find a way to help and give that assembled redness her voice, soul, identity, breakthrough and life again (reference: Beatrice and the LondonBus vol. 2). She is a Passing Stranger.

We should never be afraid of the Passing Strangers as Clarissa Pinkola Estès calls them, as for they know, whisper pebbles and pearls reverberating ripples and expanding circles in our soul when we toss them into a lake. They have been killed many times but their instinct, sense of knowing, pride has never died. They don't need saviours or protectors; after trying to reach too many slippery, cold, icy, zombified, empty living dead's hands, they learned to let them go and to survive; at times, even smile at the we-know-it-all-blisfull-ignorance-covered-up-by-arrogant-strikes-like-arrows-thrown-randomly-at-any-passersby …. just-to-disguise.

They know how to make the most of little things that others regards as just meaningless crumbs for apparently insignificant, unremarkable bluebirds who yet manage to sing loud and clear both in the tempest and in the storm as they have not time for things that have no soul.

Their spirit and emotions can reach and travel far and wide, surpassing the limitations of time, even behind the realm of physical things, breaking down barriers, obstacles, fences, and walls. They can bring us back to those unwanted, buried places that keep on resurfacing in some tearful, sleepless nights - so we can face the grief head on; never dwell and fight with it, just lead it to another place, a sacred one, gently, lovingly, till it dissolves and goes away and a new dawn can illuminate the path every morning, every day we lay.

They aren't the evei monsters Ordog (Cit. Like the Wildfire Blazing) with his evil industrious, ingenious evil plan, neither Sol (Cit. Like the Wildfire Blazing) with her bigger than anything physical archetypal bright immensity, yet physically charged seducing blinding feminine love and beauty, not fully formed human psyche, conscience and soul, or acquainted with humans' intellectual and spiritual conundrums, suffering and pain.

They are the untamed mares, who have never won a race in the eyes of the ones who never truly cared or dared.

Sometimes they come; sometimes they go, sometimes they stay. They leave notes in the most unusual places; climb the tallest towers and gaze at the same landscapes where we belong, we hide, and we feel safe. We get a glimpse of them in familiar fan fairs among the cheering crowd; they are swallowed up by her infernal embrace, not before they have been stared by some we know-it-all-neighbouring-two-pairs-of-inquisitive-eyes.

As for “they” - the Passing Strangers, the Untamed Mares - know the currency of pain. They paid for it and know how dear and exhausting it is to wear that badge, that medal and trophy every moment, every day, sometimes with fear, sometimes with a hideous sense of shame - a pain no currency can erase, or trade. Unlike for the ones, who show off a trophy they never earned just to be celebrated like fake heroes of a never written tale.

Because the winding mountains, the tears, the monsters, the angry rivers, the charming witches, the abysses, narrow twisted lanes, the branchless trees, the tsunami-waves, the flowing blood, bleeding hearts, wounded flesh and the rotten bones that they've collected and have bumped into along the way, as it can only happen in the darkness of someone's worse nightmare, it's not something anyone or everyone, or at least most, can face and bear. Walking through and out of it yet remaining whole, unscathed, smiling, hopefully fair. Most just turn the other way, bury their heads in the sand. And, if forced to face them, they lay upon them a numbing drape; sometimes even try to make them embrace the kiss of death.

But they breathe and rise, unlike the ones who thrive in the byproducts of those medals, without having walked the way, without have never ever dug into the craves of their soul or the wondrous trenches of their hearts, deceiving the single one, or the woolly masses of sheep, who always need a strong shepherd to feel safe and make sense of others and themselves, callously duping them into believing in the truth they construct and convey. Them, the Passing Strangers, the Untamed Mares, they are the ones whom we want to hear, as they might have something to offer that can make us think, shine of a new light, gain a new insight, expand in a new way, and dare to bring to the surface what we naively believed was no longer there or we have tried, unsuccessfully, to put away.

And for the sake and in memory of those who have been wounded and framed, never tamed but never made it to other side, a significant and a significance that never blended to form a one, whole, poignant, memorable sign - whether dead or alive - we should fight their battles as much as we can and give them the voice, they never had. Because we must never forget that it is in this deceptiveness, where suffering lies and injustice thrives and our nights die. As only the ones who like to pay for things, can really understand what is like to be trapped and trying to live and breathe, with a feeble pulsing heart, in a dirty, hunted, cursed, dark and forgotten walled, cemented in silence, place. Yet, without never abandoning the dream, or fiercely hanging onto the hope, that one day they' ll be able to leave that behind, walk, fly out of it, and navigate across the oceans like an Intrepid Sailor, far and wide, in search of the truth, that never fails to make the heart, the mind and the soul feel whole and safe again.

Because, the ones who don't like to pay for things and rush to join a shapeless, amorphous, endless queue, as my little kid character Beatrice says, will never render justice to the many Passing Strangers, the Untamed Mares, the Poets, the Wounded, the Lost, the Caged, the Imprisoned Messengers, the Scarred, the Sacred and the Scared.

Neither to the never forgotten Loved Ones, who walk behind us in our sleepless nights, to remind us how easy it's to slip through the too tight or too loose grip of an already laid, carved, paved glorious, luminous, gilded, glittering, shining, golden path, to be then callously buried in it, judged, wronged, blamed, gagged and trapped by the very same people who yesterday adore them, tomorrow betray them. Not without wearing a wig and a toga of a shambled sense of justice and authority, learned by heart without knowing the true meaning of it; randomly, one day, somewhere.

And if words are beautiful signs or images to stare at, we must never forget the power they carry and convey; so that their true meanings and the memory of that, can shine, overpower, dwarf the evil Ordog, the Gettos (Cit re Getty book) but also inject Sol (cit Getty's book) with a tangible compassionate human soul.

What if, all of the sudden, a billion of images disintegrates; their fragmented pieces reflecting a myriad of blinding sun rays and bustling brushstrokes of shades, only to be then summoned into a single loud river that angrily overflows outside its bed. Will we see this as a threat to the foundations we once laid?

What if that River, that emptied Bed carried the power of a wounded voice to the shore of our mind, heart and our most hidden thoughts, at times gently, at times fiercely, nudging us; asking us to be heard – to change and challenge the narrative and the sensational tales?

Whispering to us that time might have come, to build a brand new puzzle yet again. But no - not a war of words with the dragons and the fiery monsters that always arise along the way, insatiable creatures prone to devour and slaughter anything as long as they can turn the smallest things into tsunami waves, resonating an infinite echo that reverberates far and wide and everywhere. Yet, without a hint of shame.

But a heartfelt gift of words, like diamonds rolling out from underneath the soul, like dark shadows turning into shimmering, glorious, glowing rays; to commemorate, dispel, ease, release, wash out the grief, the guilt, the pain; remembering and celebrating someone who lived once and can live through us again. The boy. The man. The girl The woman. To honour the life they have been given, the one they never had, that has been taken away, or that they've dreamt of having but never was. Instead of leaving to others, the pompous, arrogated right to do that. As for they are heroes of a never truly told tale.

We owe it to us, we owe it to them, not matter how many stones or stories we might have to leave unturned. Nosediving to the bottom of the sea, to resurface with two mudded fists of precious golden pebbles and sand in both our hands; one for us, one for them. And, hold them up in a victorious sign, so high that we can nearly manage to walk through the horizon, heal and touch the sky. Reaching out, so that that silence they, we have been condemned to, will stop to dig, transfix, hurt.

Some can, some did, some never will, some know, some don't, some are afraid, some just close their eyes and take a deep breath, hoping it'll go away, only to find that same thing still there, again and again. Some just don't care, forcing us to live in a cage, they will never be able to understand what it is like to be in there. Some instead, have already walked that way and feel the urgency, the foolish need to say, to write, to sing - perhaps wrongly, naively or just boldly, but always with a good and heartfelt intent - to passers-by, or other fellows walkers with a kindred spirit, of this bizarre, sometimes tragic, funny and grotesque life.

Like a gift donated not because there's an history of things that have been shared, or something to trade; simply as they might have already written the same words to themselves, not without failing to understand the meaning they carried in the first place but only succeeding as they tried to write them, rewrite them over, and over, and over and over again. It does't matter why, it doesn't matter how, it doesn't matter when. What matters is that they managed to grasp and bring to the fore, the reason why they couldn't walk out of that cursed, dirty, hunted, forgotten by everyone, place.

After all, “Not everything can or should be explained, certain things just are, these things are our wishes and our dreams,” as my London Bus character says to his inquisitive kid friend when she questions him about why some can see while others cannot.

To defy another, surely more authoritative, yet pessimistic voice, the Priest who says to Joseph K. “Not all things are true, some are just necessary “ in The Trial, the Maverick Literary Genius' realistic reflection on society's intrinsic need to condemn, to atone its own sense of guilt. Just like a gigantic, voracious Ugolino's-hunger-striken monster that yet struggles to breath and satiates itself, unless it judges or puts on a trial, not without horribly failing, a random anyone or a gilded chosen one, both sharing the same fate; they will never escape the stamp or mark of the justice defectors and of the truth deflectors that relegates them to an infinite, self perpetuating, never ending sense of social suffering, ineptitude, failure and shame. A system where Justice is either a lottery ticket or a privilege: Never a right.

Unless.

Unless, we find a way, to free ourselves, to free the tortured, imprisoned, the thrashed souls, even if it is in a way that only makes sense to ourselves through the most unfathomable and the less travelled roads. Writing, communicating and speaking and using words as pebbles and pearls and diamonds rolling out from underneath the soul. Yes, this is one of them.

But, who are the Passing Strangers, the Messengers?

A burden? Intruders? Invaders? Wanters? Plotters? Schemers? Callous Takers? A deep thinking logical, proper, wise, calm, sound, self-congratulating-I-know-it-all, yet clouded mind, may say. An enigma? Much like a sharp laser that pierces and blinds our thoughts, soul, sight, status, richness, ego, honour, and sense of pride? Or are they just foolish simple-minded givers, deluded believers, jesters dreamers of a court where they are ignored at best, most of the times laughed at, shunned and shamed for the sake of what they pursue, do, show and say?

They are the Untamed Mares, the Mavericks, the Black Sheep, the Lone Wolves, the Loners, the Many Lupa, who race endlessly and sweat without ever been adored, honoured, blessed, crowned, or ever voraciously, ferociously grabbing any celebrated, cheered, applauded golden trophy put on a altar or on an ideal place, where the only thing that matters is just the last few seconds of a fierce, long awaited race. From there - the altars and ideal places - the Ordogs, the Gettos (cit) of a certain tale, Sacred Priests, Game Changers, Power Holders, Emperors who command, dominate, order, observe, are looked up and admired by countless anonymous Papagenos who only need a one off victory, most of the time not even theirs, to feel alive and reclaim a sense of pride they never had, while the Sacred Priests accumulate so many that they can't longer distinguish one from the other, neither care. All of them though, sharing a common fate: there are actors in the allegory of power with its symbolisms, signs, significants and significances; a Roman game, a screaming arena with its Gladiators, Emperors and people. A spectacle we try to make sense of, reason with in seeing it represented, or being part of it, over and over and over again.

As for the Untamed mares and the Racing Wolf are too often discredited, struck off, frowned upon for not sporting a fatuous glaring, shining mane in the limelight of a conceded, concocted victory, for not following or fulfilling the orders the Sacred Priest, imperiously gave, deluding them every time they try but inexorably fail.

They may as well be dense drops of a recurring rain, hitting, pattering against and coming down one by one countless unshakable, senseless, unmovable, hard panes. Rain drops that won't go away, till we have understood the meaning of why they came. As they, the Passing Strangers, the Untamed Mares, the Mavericks and Fighters, who are nonetheless sacred, yet scarred and scared - who walk timidly, or gallop wildly into someone else' s tale, yet never with a ill intent - sometimes they just want to hand us a gift. A gift of the soul, or a gift of words as they have been and are caretakers, to make us aware, or nudge us to honour, bring to the surface what we already know is there, what it is precious, and screaming to come out, what needs to be acknowledged but that has been hidden for a time that even the walled clock has given up or forgotten to keep a close check on or to longer care. That we have simply smashed because that ticking sound at some point became too loud, just like happened to good old Talking Cricket in Pinocchio's tale, as the Poor Wooden Boy, after killing him, wanders drunken and lost in the country of richness and of its shining toys, with an adoring court of actors and extras, who encourage him to stay there and never pursue what can, could make him change or aspire to grow and embrace something else. Never relenting the grip as there is too much too lose, too much at stake.

But, would we be able to welcome, even just say hello or not be afraid, for a second, for an hour for a month or for day, and face who is, has, will or could be a Messenger or has become a Passing Stranger in our tale, no without much previous suffering, digging, tears, sacrifice and pain, only to re-merge on the other side with a sense of knowing and a freedom they never thought they' d be able to obtain.

As for we might have been the same to them, for some strange but worthy reason without ever knowing it, because maybe, perhaps, who knows, possibly, we are, were, will be too busy to even notice something that doesn't make immediate sense or that can't be seen with a naked eye and doesn't come with fake answers we so far craved.

Or, as they might have not passed the test of been approved, sanctioned, boxed in, categorized, listed as if they were sacrificed animals in the modern lagers of an industry that feeds pain, as we were and are tribunals, judges and justice guards ourselves. Even officers of an monstrous library with Kafkaesque labyrinths full of repetitive shelves, where every single book is put and indexed with painstakingly attention and obsession, so to never leave anything unchecked or uncontrolled or at the device or life, or fate, with its random overflowing wells, flowing rivers, unexpected twists and turns. Or even worse, as they never passed the test of the tribunals we employ to keep at bay the Mavericks, the Poets, the Messengers, the Racing Wolf the Sacred, the Scarred and the Scared. Only to have them turned into meaningless, dusted, forgotten files that have been buried and simply archived. Full stop. Who cares. Never mind.

As for we should never forget that the “Infinite nothingness” - a pompous slogan I have worded for my sly cunning Magician character to encourage the crowd to throw coins into one of his alluring thousands hats for his shameless tricks and games - a puppet I enjoyed moving to see what it feels like for once to be the Mangiafuoco of the case - can indeed be filled with that truth, just like every fairy tale which was written for the children, the dead, the unborn and the adults as well, has been for centuries and centuries, trying to say.

The Intrepid Sailor

1, 2, 3 backwards, 3,2,1 forward, the number in years since a random attempt of a blind, breathless Intrepid Sailor, lost at a sea for a time that felt it'd never end, to reach the shore of an unknown-to-him Silent Captain's uncharted island. Not even knowing why he had felt compelled to do that, but it was an island that wasn't there.

Yet deep down The Sailor knew that throwing pebbles in a lake were going to be the Silent Captain's much needed steps to embark on the coveted freedom; and that would have resonated with the Sailor's chance to resume his seagoing and navigate far and wide, to release a past that every day had turned into an agonising, unsustainable never caused, never deserved debt, hanging like a swords on his head, only a few inches away.

The Silent Captain

1,2,3 the number in years the Sailor had to wait for the Silent Captain to step out of his golden hut, pick up some pebbles and throw them in a vast lake, each stone a pain blew out by the wind, a wound washed out by the waves, speaking about some sleepless nights and remembering and honouring the ones who had died. An open validation of those, whether passed away or alive, who believed in the great plans that Fate and the Stars had in store for them, only to find that their life have been stolen, deformed, distorted, the path diverted, while they had been forgotten and forced to stay endlessly in some dark, confined places that do exist, that have not been the fruit of a ill mind, while their truth and the price for having been there, was erased, forgotten from everybody's brain.

Somehow a voice that sank in, that made sense out of a million that had already been heard, out of the many that had just slipped away and that never provided the key that was able to set him free. As it was a voice that was, knew and belonged to both worlds; the one of the Sacred Priests, the Emperors, the Game Changers, the Power Holders and of the Untamed mares, the Racing Lupa, the Loners, the Mavericks, the Wounded, the Scarred, Scared and Sacred Souls.

A Sacred Priest turned into a Silent Captain who openly remembered a Lost Loved One. That's when the latter turned into a Passing Stranger in the Intrepid Sailor's life. He had re-emerged in his mind from a long lost childhood's memory archived file. He laid a bed of tiny flames, lightening them up one at time. Lead him by an invisible hand, at some point in a time of the Sailor's adult life; somewhere where he could find something that would give, at last, some sense to his own unvalidated, distorted, degraded grown up's tale.

Children never forget stories that had an heartfelt, profound impact on them. Even if they learned about them posteriorly and when the deeds had already been sealed, feeling though as if it had just happened right then. As if it was happening to them.

As Children know. Aren't all the fairy tales warning them since a tender age, about the darkest forces that might detract them from their safe homes and taking them in a place they are not supposed to stay? Almost as if they are preparing them should one day - when they are all grown up and think they can face, stand up to, and defeat all the monsters and the charming witches along the way – really happen to them.

And so a life lesson was learned; we should always claim back our right to self-validation. Regardless. Never expect integrity, equity and legitimacy from the justice defectors and truth deflectors; they are accountable not matter what. Never ever honour them with a time that could be put elsewhere; always own and wear the Truth without apologies, without doubts, neither discounts, mostly without guilt and shame, and hand those debts right back to the ones who are meant to pay.

That's when the mysterious and compelling navigation to, and the attempt to reach out the Silent Captain 's uncharted island, had, at last, made perfect sense.

A fragmented, split soul recomposes and becomes whole, the knots magically untangle, answers flock in hitting us like a thunderstorm; the Universe never wastes a step.

When people's lives gets intertwined in some mysterious ways and personal experiences mirror and cross each other's paths, from near or far, you have the privilege and luxury of learning, expanding and growing in an exponential way. It does matter if they are alive or dead. That's the wonderful thing about the ones who can connect with anything; they can make the dead living once again, even if they fail, most of the times in making the living ones become a bit more soulful than evanescent ghosts or empty shells, on this journey we all together share.

Meanwhile a bandwagon of Sacred Priests dressed up like Messengers, basking in the shadiness of a stolen limelight, are busy to re-enact the voice and speak on behalf of the Passing Strangers, the Messengers, the Mavericks, the Intrepid Sailors, the Untamed Mares, the Racing Lupa, and Silent Captains of any given uncharted island - making a questionable and deplorable spectacle of human tragedy and other people's suffering; stealing their truth and their tale. Pretending to care.

Yet, should they be asked to hear about the past and post pitfalls, dark twists and turns, winding roads, obscure mountains, carnivorous monsters, angry rivers, charming witches, unfathomable abysses, narrow lanes, branchless trees, tsunami-waves, bleeding hearts, wounded flesh, paralysing fears, frozen tears, silent screams, suffocated breaths, spiralling fights and outbursting flights, blinding flashbacks, trembling limbs and rotten bones, they'd callously but politely excuse themselves, turn the other way, and walk away.

The journey was long and tempestuous; along the way fear turned into anger, anger into disdain, disdain into piety, piety into quietude, quietude into fortitude.

A new dawn arises; we take a deep breath and inhale clean, fresh air, swim in a limpid and clear lake, cherish the roads less travelled or the most unfathomable, our intuition, gut feelings, fate, the angels or the stars, or simply a Mysterious Passing Stranger, a Messenger nudged us to take, as much as incomprehensible and enigmatic those had appeared for 1,2,3, or 3, 2, 1 the number in years - and hopefully, who knows, reclaim all the blessing we have been robbed of when the clock, one day, had stopped to work.

Time is just a number and numbers are just signs. It's up to us to fill them with meanings that paint the world with new luminous, lustrous, fulgent, blazing colours and lights or embrace the sea weaves with new found sense of courage, enchantment and pride.

How naif is to think though that new-found-freedom doesn't come also with a heavy price.

For any uncharted, adventurous, brand new journey ahead, there is also a sense of loss as we unexpectedly grieve, mourn and even miss the flawed wishes, the deceiving dreams, the ephemeral

beliefs, the fatuous enemies, the meaningless Don Quixote-like-fights, the evanescent Windmills as they real ones brought too much pain. Even we miss the toxic sense of safety and comfort that tiny, suffocating, confined dark spaces of any given hunted place we have called home and has fed our soul for a time we have lost count of, that have poisoned our mind. This while we wonder what the roads ahead might look like, taste, feel or even smell.

But never dwell and fight with it, just lead it to another place, a sacred one, gently, lovingly, till it evaporates, dissolves and goes away and a new beginning can illuminate the path every morning, every day we lay.

How funny life is. Were this story the script of a film, there would be all the ingredients in it to move many people to tears and to get them empathise and identify and even hoping to be a the centre of this, so that they could claim a bravery, a resilience and a strength that never belonged to them. But real Heroes are only good for a day and life is anything but a film, where Warriors and Fighters receive applauds, honours and eternal laurels for the intrepid spirit and their shining bravery.

Hence, this story and their heroes might just be looked at and read with derision, snobbery, boredom and derogatory contempt.

But words are like pebbles, pebbles can be turned into pearls. The ones who knows how to wear them, make sense of, respect and handle them, have learned to face anything and anyone, have learned to be honest and really truthful to themselves; and perhaps have even earned the right to be called A Human, A Man.

All we need is to start looking at the world with bewildered eyes, charge ahead and even, one day, somehow, somewhere, in a hidden secret garden, find The Island that is not there (Cit: L isola che non c'è) that can turn us into an expanded and a better version of ourselves. Never forgetting though that for any given wronged and failed soul, there is always a little Beatrice kid character (Cit Beatrice and the London Bus) somewhere and out there, who will give them their lost voice, and some truly deserved dignity, honour and sacred respect back. Making things right once again.