The mystic sailor

I have, at great price
purchased the finest boat.

Its hull of warm wood,
polished to a gleaming, natural brass.
Its sails, white and tall,
ready for the merest breeze.

And I’ve studied the ways of sailing:
the laws of the water,
the ways of the wind,
the vagaries of weather,
the names of the moon.

Long and hard I’ve worked –
and read, and practiced, and labored,
and purchased, at great price –
until at last,
my boat is launched on the great, wide sea…

Where suddenly I learn:
My skills will not move me!
My boat has no power!

Wind is everything.

But alas, I cannot control it,
or understand it,
or cause it come.

I cannot bottle it for later,
or coax it stay;
I cannot even calm it
if it blow too strong.

I can only wait, and be ready
and hope to make progress…

Bewildered and exhilirated,
I am the mystic sailor.

If ever I reach my destination,
it was me, but not me,
who got us there.