God’s Pets Denied

11 Oct

God’s Pets Denied

At the right moment I am going to provision a small boat with water, food and fuel and head out to sea one last time. The first day of travel will see me holding a heading a few degrees South of West toward the distant Beethoven Seamounts. For a time the Big Island will fill the horizon behind me, its brown and green bulk rising above the vog, heat haze and salt laden mist. As the hours pass I will sit astern in the sunlight and let the GPS steer as I watch the lofty shoulders of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa slowly dip below the horizon.

When night falls I’ll toss a sea anchor and sleep, maybe write a bit more. Last thoughts, new thoughts. Perhaps not. If I’ve done my job right there will be enough of my writing in blogs and books so that my son will have some idea of what made me tick and why I passed this way. The stars will be bright out there, sharp, hard and eternal, filling the night with their glorious splendor, lighting the way.

The first dawn out of sight of land will mark one more pendulum sweep of the cosmic metronome that has marked time through all of my days. With that sweep and the ones to follow, I will begin to hear more clearly what has been the background music of my life; the song of the waves, and the voice of the sea calling. I’ll make turns for the equator until I run out of fuel and then see how long I can last, resting in the shade, reading, and listening. Far from land I will see again the world most men never will and end my days unfettered by intravenous tubes and the unwavering schedules of uncaring caretakers. No slow slide into dementia and drug induced torpor. No warehousing of a body that doesn’t know how to stop and a mind in which memories take the place of real life. There will be storms and squalls, fish and sea birds, light shimmering off the waves and endless vistas free of the cares of land. A final laugh, too, one that Samuel Clemens would understand, at the certain knowledge that though the sea will claim me and many creatures will feast, God’s Pets will be denied.

On the far flung reaches of the open ocean, suspended between heaven’s scudding clouds and Davy Jones’ locker, there are no flies. To hell with them.

8 Responses to “God’s Pets Denied”

  1. susielindau October 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Great post. I love the description and its intensity. I can imagine many wish to live out their remaining time on earth in that way.

    This better be fiction Doug!!!

    • Douglas MacIlroy October 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

      Hi Susie,

      Most definitely not fiction. It is my plan for that time, straight from the heart. (Message for my son.)

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.



      • susielindau October 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

        Then I hope that your plan takes place far off in the future!

  2. kdmccrite October 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Doug, your voice is pure and clear in this. I fully understand what you’re saying and what your plans are for your last days. We should all go out with dignity, surrounded by love and beauty. I’m with Susie in saying I hope this takes place in the far future. –Kady

    • Douglas MacIlroy October 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      Hi Kady,

      I hope it’s a long way off, too, but you never know. There’s a peace that has settled over me after having posted it.

      Thanks for reading, girl. (I’m jumping over to FB to see if you’re home:)



      • rochellewisoff August 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

        Dear Doug,
        Thanks for calling this post to my attention. I, too, hope it’s way off in the future. For someone who claims insensitivity, this piece is an argument to the contrary. Chilling and poignant, it brought me to tears.

  3. sustainabilitea March 14, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    A beautifully-written, heart-felt piece that tugs on my heart in a variety of ways. Ditto the wishes for it being far in the future but I understand your desire to die in a natural way, far from the madding (and maddening) crowd and the mess that is death too often these days. My narrator in today FF story has kindred feelings. Rochelle says you claim insensitivity. I can vouch that from your writings I find that an utterly ridiculous statement.

    Long may we be sharing thoughts and stories,


    • dmmacilroy March 14, 2013 at 4:15 am #

      Dear Janet,

      Thanks for reading this. I hope I am brave enough and smart enough to make it happen in the fullness of time. Dying well is an important part of living well.

      I second your wish for many more years of sharing thoughts. Yours enrich my days.



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