A Hopeless Venture – A Story

Vincent van Gogh, Two Lovers (1888). Accessed via Wikimedia.

A man once sat with his sailor son, bellies filled with rhum. Talking till the bell late rung, bout the sea, love n the sun.  He was telling a tale of a love long gone, of a hope that sunk.              

Hear me now, and hear me well, for this love of mine is a story to tell. So here I stand, beneath your light, a sailor who has seen the sights of tempests raging far and wide and found in them a love inside. For a sailor’s life is one of adventure and strife and it is in the storms that we truly come to life. The storms that test my very soul make me feel once more whole.

I was a sailor lost at sea, with no map to guide my way, and the mermaid with her fiery locks, lead me further astray. Her beauty shone brighter than the whole sky, mesmerizing, it caught my eye. Yet ever since that faithful day, my life has been cloaked in shades of grey.  My existence only somewhere to be forgot, my heart forever lost to the ocean’s plot. And though I crave to be by your side, I am but a sailor marooned by the tide. The joy in my heart, it fades to blackness. Every single thing I touch, filled with sadness. But it’s all over now, all out to sea, the waves crashing down, setting me free.

A hopeless venture, a doomed decree, the sea, a cruel mistress that takes and never frees. And yet we cling to hope, to dreams undone, as if our hearts were but naive ones. I yearn for the ocean’s embrace, to lose myself in its boundless space. Though I may chase, yearn, and seek, her unattainable nature makes me weak. But distance is a cruel mistress, always keeping us apart, so I set sail, with hopes to prevail, despite a heavy heart.

A sailor lost in love’s tempestuous waves, but I’ll keep on sailing, for my heart still craves. Lost in the tempest’s rage, I’m tossed about by love’s own fickle stage. I’ll keep on sailing through the waves, with a heart that still believes, that one day she’ll be mine to hold, and love will grant reprieve. I watch her from afar, with a heart that still believes, that one day she’ll be mine, and my soul will be at ease.

So let my heart be know like a sailor bold, lost at sea, but still, it seeks to uphold, a love that’s lost, a story never told.  But love’s a treacherous journey, a risky sail, it sends the brave to the grave, to rot and to fail. Our love’s a shipwreck, lost to the tide, and though I’m lost, forever shall I bide. And so I’ll carry on, with a heart that’s torn, a sailor lost at sea, forever forlorn.

So let me be, let me drift away, into the abyss, into the darkness, and the ocean’s kiss. For ships are safest at the shore, yet this ‘not what they build for. And so I’ll sail, with the wind at my back, with the sun on my face and the ocean’s track.

-lost forever; a sailor without map or tether.

Vincent van Gogh, The Stevedores in Arles (1888). Accessed via Wikimedia.

Hello there friends and thank you for taking some time out of your day to go through this. Screaming into a void that is the internet will probably always stay a little odd, but the feedback I get is really encouraging. So I wanted to also thank you, the reader, for the feedback I have gotten over the last years.

I’ve had the pleasure to attend a beautiful event in Luxembourg, a poetry slam! Seeing your friends perform both heart-wrenching and soul-uplifting slams was a real delight. Juggling both belly laughter and tears made this event a true experience. I was not prepared to feel this range of emotions. The other attendees were nothing short of phenomenal; it was a real emotional rollercoaster and nothing short of a true delight. I will definitely attend more events in the future. This did inspire me to pick up the pen and maybe try various styles. This poem is a step in that direction and tries to have some sort of storytelling atmosphere to it.

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

― Vincent van Gogh

This poem was further inspired by none other than your boy Van G. (shocker, right? You haven’t noticed the pattern by now, I am sure.) The chosen painting is a depiction of two lovers, a sailor and his sweetheart, reuniting after his travels. Vincent even wrote to Emile Bernard that it depicts: “ sailors coming back with their sweethearts to town”… so do not think that I am going wild with interpretations here… Really thinking about sailors that have to go out in the vast ocean, and their lovers remaining at the shore, looking at the same horizon over and over again hoping it would finally see some change. There is something eternally sublime about that. Thinking how that reunion must have felt. And much like these fishermen this poem tries to partly tackle this idea. The attempt to capture the uncapturable, to become master of the storms.

So I really thought this painting was fitting and thus I tried to incorporate some elements into the poem. Due to the fitting nature of the painting, I tried to continue the series of sailors their sons and love. See it as a continuation of the poem Sons of Sailors. (Instead of seeing it as me being lacklustre, let’s just call it a series. This sounds way more sophisticated.) I fell in love with the idea of trying to capture the impossible, loving only in the midst of storms. Whilst ships are safest at the harbour they are meant to set sail. Safety might not always be the answer… So you might be as much of a sailor son as I am. So set sail for fail and try to find yourself in the midst of it.

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths, it has its pearls too.”

― Vincent van Gogh

For those people that want some updates once we post new things. 🙂

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