Friday, 2 December 2016

The Ship

For as long as anyone could remember there had always been the ship. People were born, people lived their lives, and people died, on the ship.
Salt water was converted to fresh, fish were taken from the sea, and fruits and vegetables were grown on the upper decks. The ship never went anywhere in particular, because no one knew of the concept of ‘a place to go’. The ship just kept sailing on towards a horizon which it never reached.
Over the years the fuel had gone from steam, to oil, to a combination of wind, solar and nuclear. It never occurred to anyone on board to stop the ship – because that’s what the ship did, it always kept moving.
As each generation was born on to the ship, theories would arise as to how the ship had been created. Some believed that a race of beings had built the ship many, many eons ago – some believed that the ship had been provided by a god for the good of all those on board.
Over the years there were two types of people – those who explained all the ship’s trials and dilemmas in terms of science, and those who described the ship as a ‘toy of a greater being’. Both had rules, the science created rules to allow everyone to live comfortably on the ship – the others, well they wrote rules about who and what you were permitted to do. They felt that as their god had provided the ship, then that god should not be angered. People had to marry, have children and thank their god at every opportunity.
In the end, no one ever really knew what the truth was. The scientists believed there had been a world, once upon a time, which had flooded – and that those on the ship were the only souls left. When someone from a science family died, they were buried overboard in order to feed the fishes – ‘the circle of life’ they called it. When one of the ship-god souls died they were also buried overboard, but were expected to rise to the heavens and live among the stars.
No one was right and no one was wrong. Each generation felt that they knew the secret of life and each generation ended up in the sea – either as food, or as a means to pass to another world.
Someone, in times past, had scrawled a message upon the wall on the lowest deck – it read:
“We have no means of knowing why or how we came to exist on this ship. We must live together, not taking too much or destroying too much. Only by living in harmony and love can the ship keep moving.”
Underneath the phrase was a little wooden block which had been interpreted as the name of the soul who had etched the message.
It read: ‘RMS Titanic’.
bobby stevenson 2016

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