The Dust Captain
(Originally written: 2003/06/14)
I am not a mere mariner. I am a captain:1
...the captain of my soul.2
There is water all around me, but there
is nothing to drink.3
I am dust in the wind,4
which has landed in a stream
and was carried by the current to the sea5.
I was at the bottom6 of the
sea for a while,
and I got swallowed up by a fish7,
then the fish spit me out again.
Then, I got swallowed by a crab8,
and when I came out the other end, I was
As crab crap, I was then dissolved into a
each a thousand times smaller than my
I think I'm spreading myself too thin.9
I'm a jack of all trades, but a master of
I need to pull my crap together and get
Is it possible? Is it too late?
Where will the I go next? What will
become of me?
Now, I feel something11
attached to me.
It pulls me down and lifts me up.
I feel like it has some mystical power
I want to go this way, but it wants to go
I struggle to deal with this addition to
It has become a part of me.
To detach it would like detaching a part
So, I wait. I wait for my ship to come
Maybe there is no ship coming after all.
Sometimes, I see a ghost ship.
I can see it coming, but then it
disappears into thin air
just before docking in the harbor of my soul.
The ebb and flow of the tides make me
feel like I'm going somewhere,
but I'm going nowhere.
If I were a bird, I would eat that fish
that spit me out.
And, I would crap on that crab that crapped me
Then, I would fly away to paradise.
I may be a spec of dust, blown to and fro
by winds of change,13
and at times tossed around by waves of
but this dust is going to attach itself
to a great eagle or whale,14
and travel the globe.
The problem is, to a spec of dust, like
sometimes a swallow15 looks
like an eagle, and a shark16 looks like a whale.
It's hard to tell the difference
And, aspirations become forgotten dreams.
By the time I realize that it's a swallow
or a shark,
I'm already lost.
And so I wander,
never knowing where the WAY17
Perhaps if I thumb a ride to nowhere,
I'll arrive somewhere.
Because when I thumb a ride to somewhere,
I end up nowhere.
1. From the famous song, "La Bamba" (author
2. From Henly's Invictus: "I am the master of
my fate. I am the captain of my soul."
3. Pakistani Proverb
5. Sea = World
6. Bottom of the Sea = unemployment
7. fish = commercial company
8. crab = low-level commercial company
9. doing too much, i.e., more than one can handle
10. English Proverb
11. My son
12. ship = fortunate business opportunity
13. Winds of Change = (song by Scorpions)
14. Eagle/Whale = Large Firm (commercial company)
15. Swallow = one that looks nice, but isn't
16. Shark = one that deceives in order to cheat one of
17. WAY = TAO