God's Armada

February 25th, 2000 -Three days before Machina                                                                                                          

This night I had gone to bed in a desperate, desperate state, more desperate even, than I’ve been of late. For then I figured I’d lost, but that was not my fault, I’d met everything, and I couldn’t understand.

I dreamed of being with my father, but this was not my biological father; it didn’t look like him. My mother and sister were there too, in a group, and our group was being prepped to go to four different sites or fronts in a covert war where we would function as observers. These arenas were to be traveled to by boat. I had chosen my site in my head where I wished to go; it was the most covert of the four and intrigued me. It was a difficult decision because my sister had chosen a separate site and while I was loath to be parted from her I would not alter my decision for personal reasons; I would go where I wanted to go. It was heartrending though.

At a quay (wooden piles, tree trunks like we would have in the west), about to embark, there was an incredible storm gathering, layer upon layer of grey dark cloud, and wind. -Lighter wind, no gales.

“It’s storming,” I said, which couldn’t have been a more blatant statement of the obvious.

“Yes,” the responding harbour man laughed. “This is the storm they say is not happening.” (-On the weather channel.)

But it was. On the horizon two bolts of lightning shattered the stillness in synchronous accord, but there was no thunder. The storm was as silent as its wind. -The way it produced no waves. The shafts happened each at the opposing periphery of vision, like images of each other.

Our boats were nothing like the schematics and plot plans had suggested; nothing but little tin row boats. One of them was mine.

Setting sail lying in the little boat with others, I became fully aware of the clouds. In truth they were filled with colours and light. The lower peripheries were a pregnant blue but the upper reaches shot through with the golden light of the sun. They ranged from the pale into hues of blue and gold. Some blues were almost mauve.

They were unlike any cloudscape I’ve seen, unnatural geometry in their shapes, conceiving order. They had separate discrete forms like vessels, layer upon layer of their bodies, so the all you could see was the clouds.

I concluded it is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen in my life. I begin a hymn to the glory of God. As we were cast adrift on the sea we reached the crest of the glorious storm. At crest’s edge it was apparent; there was a host of galleons riding the storm, they were the storm. The ships were in full sail, their sails lit luminous with the gold of the sun, the magnificent splendour concealed in the cloud, all arrayed in splendour sailing forth. I realized it was the armada of heaven; that all of God’s forces were arrayed and sailing with us; the storm was our force.

A hymn was taken up by all the boat members in unison, we sing, faltering at points but in complete harmony of voice, as we arrive all at once at the same words, create the same song for the first time realizing the same voice. I carry the words and falter at points where I think I am losing the others. But we carry on in the same hymn to glory. We sing then of the wonder and grace of Christ our God, the same God.

And then our dinghy passed under a great ship, the flagship. The apex of light was concealed in it, as if its blue hid the sun to save our sight, but the rays still pealed forth. (Like how the sun’s rays are caught acutely on camera, and create geometric prisms of light, little pentagons, glancing down in a scape of blue, except that this was the center of all the geometry.)

And I knew it to be God’s flagship, for in it I saw captured His glory. And in the face of this glory we sang our praise of one accord.

The dream was ended; I awoke in a basement with a bevy of youths who began singing to the latest hit on the radio.

And my father stopped them by crying, ‘Wait, wait, we have sang the hymn, the hymn had its form in the moment, it was realized, we must sing it now, again, while we still have the memory, before it is lost to us completely. -STOP!’

And the youths were drowned out by his exhortation and turned and paused, perplexed. But then they resumed their singing without so much as shaking their heads in bemusement; resumed their plastic radio hit that was the extent of their pleasure.

And the hymn was lost to them.