Hello, I'm Henry.  

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Blood Bath

Blood Bath

Waking Awareness

Norman Cay, North Exumas

Day 4 of my 51- Day Bahamas Solo

May 23, 2016

Very early on a sultry morning I awoke from a deep peaceful sleep with a piercing hum in my right ear.  This ear humming drummed it into me I was being attacked on all fronts. Still half-asleep, I imagined a swarming school of mosquitos surrounding me.  

It was until after I fell back asleep and woke several hours later did I first realize my carnage. It wasn't the bloodletting on the walls or the ceiling that initially bothered me.  It was a disturbing image that my behavior had transformed me into a diabolical character.  

I had sailed late into that night...until my Mystique was safely anchored west of Norman Cay. It was then that I turned in....(maybe "turned into" is a more accurate verb)...after a long day sailing south along the Tongue of The Bahamas under a bright night sky of stars and a full moon.

The sound rattled my cage, raised my awareness, fenced with my defenses, startled my senses and enflamed my fears. Then my fury engulfed and unleased me. The bloodshed quenched my thirst. Sir, it was purely self-defense. It was all the bug’s fault. I won’t have killed any of them if they hadn’t found their way into my bedroom. They won’t have died they not existed. Yea, I own up to slaughtering those buggers. I admit it. I’m guilty. I’m responsible for the carnage!
— My first self-confession about the massacre
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As I wrote about this massacre in my journal the next morning, I randomly opened a page in my dream with the following quote in the upper right corner: 

Dreams and the light imaginings of men,
And all that faith or love desires,
Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous shapes. 
— Percy Bysse Shelley

Like the narrator in Poe's Telltale Heart, my guilt confessed my killing. While my stateroom was not as bloody as the crime scene from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, I could not help notice the stark similarities. Then the irony of Percy Shelley's quote as the husband of the author of Frankenstein, a human-like, man-made creature who killed indiscriminately, without justification or conscience. One consolation seemed to be that at least I had not imagined myself as any Dracula character who needed a stake rammed through his heart. However, my gut illusions and mental delusions were making some disturbing literary allusions.

Clearly my comparisons were not the issue. It was the fact that my fearful and angry behavior reminded me of these gruesome tales that troubled me. Reality had not been anywhere close to my imagination, but it was obvious to me I was a troubled soul. I needed help which thankfully would be coming soon. 

When the wind slowly died in the middle of that night, Mystique's was anchored some 50 yards off the southwestern shoreline of Norman Cay.  But as confident and comfortable as I thought I was a that time, I eventually surmised I had deluded myself into thinking I was FINE (acronym for Fuckup, Insecure, Nuerotic and Emotional). I was apparently holding in some latent hostility.  In fact, it was obvious to me I was much further away from being prepared for deep and lasting transformation than I thought I was.  My spiritual voyage and development were just beginning; I had a long voyage ahead of me.

After my emotional dust had settled, I regained my composure and I had to record all the details. So I opened my nearby journal where I record my dreams. Yea, this counted; this was a nightmare, even though it all happened while I was half-asleep. I don't smoke or do drugs so I had to settle my nerves so recording the hellish events seemed best. Writing does that for me.

As I began to write about the horrific hour or so of chaos and carnage, I could not help reflect how I might have acted like a freakish monster, swatting at those buggers. While I now felt calm and cool as I gazed at the body count on my bedroom walls, it was not pretty. Poe's Telltale Heart came to mind as I inspected and surveyed the scene in the morning light.  I suddenly recalled how I had reacted during the slaughter. I started to envision who I had become..

The next night, like most, no insects appeared or invaded my sleeping quarters or my thoughts. I nice comforting breeze saw to that.  But after my nightly nature call, their familiar hungry humming returned. More like yumming their bloodsuckers before their flesh feast. Real or imagined?

 Bugged Bunny, Buggered Bunny, Bugging Bunny or Bugs Bunny?

Bugged Bunny, Buggered Bunny, Bugging Bunny or Bugs Bunny?

However this time I decided rather than seek their whereabouts, I would relax, try to return to shuteye and have them come to me. I had earlier sprayed both my shoulders with a nontoxic insect repellant and then resprayed with their approaching reminder.  But instead of waiting and watching with my fly swatter at-the-ready, I returned to sleep peacefully.  Shuteye didn't  bug me....literally and emotionally. 

By morning I felt like I had made a symbolic breakthrough. I had finally concluded my way of thinking was causing undue stress and discomfort. I started to re-see my initial reactions and realized I could look at them more holistically, step away and consider a response, rather than a reaction!  "A 24 carrot idea", says the wily wabbit. Less Wily Coyote and more Bugs Bunny - ah, a civilized approach to facing a pesky invasion? A way to make life easier and align myself with how I truly wanted to respond to every situation.? That more conscious approach was, after all, how I was sailing the Bahamas. While I was allowing lost answers and adventures to unfold naturally, I could still see I had much to understand.  Who was this masked marauder I had become?

By my 18th day aboard Mystique on my solo, I had at least another 30 days alone, I had time for much more awakening ahead of me.

Over two weeks later It struck me.  I had approached the whole nightmarish circumstances with fear. I am trying to be more conscious however I had failed to realize at the time I had been bugged and buggered by myself. What if I had ambushed myself? The mosquitos attack became an ah-ha moment. I had assaulted myself again with my thoughts and associations with past events. 
— My second confession two weeks later...

Another realization was that sometimes it takes time before the learning sinks in.  Learning and awareness often seem like Simplicity 101, but I know reminders to lessons helps them sink in.  I look forward to experiencing the difference between an Bugged Bug Basher and a Peaceful Sailor. 

 The sounds and silence began to speak to me.

The sounds and silence began to speak to me.

 Bring it on Bahamas!

Bring it on Bahamas!

Following a Disaster

Following a Disaster

$50 Bills Don't Float

$50 Bills Don't Float