On the horizon, a ship is afloat upon the ocean, miles from home and adrift from land. It has lost course. Standing at the highest point of nearest land you can view the wooden vessel as it floats impotently through the waves.
Lost and languishing in the serene waters.
Bereft of bearing and deprived of direction.
Sadly however, no matter how far the vessel travels, revelations of the culture upon deck and recounts of what time is like between port and starboard has travelled back to those who charted the vessel to seek new lands and new beginnings.
Disturbing dispatches and deceitful disclosures, have made their way to shore upon the waves detailing the actions of key crew members.
The town’s folk divided by opinion by news of nautical tittle tattle and rumour. Some incandescently display disgust, whilst some simply pleased and applaud; intensifying the white hot embers of the opposing levels of anger.
Bring them back they yell.
Turn the ship around they demand.
But alas, their voice is quashed by the support of a few. Those whose coins of gold and jewels of jade financed the voyage a long, long time ago.
The ship sails on with the disbelief of many watching from a far.
Upon the ship is a captain, a reckless galavant born into admiralty, placed at the wheel by birth right and blaggery.
A captain, by moniker only, who is keen to steer the ship and lead the crew to oceans deep, to waters uncharted, navigating without caution to complete the deeds of yesteryear as homage to the captains who graced the deck before him and, of course, to those of whom who placed coins of gold within his palm.
For many weeks, stedfast by his side, advisors and senior crew have watched on with muted concern. Hesitant of action, tentative to offer the truth.
It wouldn’t be worth it.
The man at the wheel never listens.
It's perilous to rock the boat and face the plank.
Impervious to the obvious, resistant to change and averse to any action which may challenge or defile his popularity, a popularity based on churlish humour and undignified entitlement, he continues unchallenged and unscathed.
Alas, this is his ship. He was told it was. He was told it would be and, from infancy, he proclaimed he deserved it.
It was only a matter of time before his hands held the wheel
However, restlessness has spread amongst the ship’s company and, through the many gnarled hands of mariners aboard, a note has been passed.
A mutiny is due.
A rebellion of rescue and recovery is needed as unsettling news from the land they had now idly forgotten had reached the confined narrow cabins of the crew.
Aghast in the acknowledgment that should they return back to the fair isle that wished them well many months ago, they would now only be greeted by disdain and unwavering, unforgiving disapproval.
Displeasure for not taking action sooner against the captain.
You had the power of numbers they would taunt.
You watched on and allowed it all to take place.
You knew how important the journey was but yet you stood by his side, applauding his actions and watching on with each directionless turn of the wheel.
The scribbled notes and hushed whispers soon reached a secretive crescendo and, one night in the stygian stillness of midnight, a discussion took place below deck. The whispers and promises of a new dawn were rapidly making its way across hammock and bed post.
Those who had stood by, to the right and the left of our wayward captain, discussed with the him alone the need for change. They requested a resolution and referred to the restlessness onboard the ship and back home on the lands that, one day, he would return.
Soon, after much discussion, an agreement was reached and, come the rise of the morning’s sun, the captain gathered his belongings, lowered a safe seafaring vessel down into the waters below and rowed away, carefree and untroubled towards the horizon.
Perhaps to reflect on his actions and change his manner but, more likely, arrive at a new land with spurious tales and fabricated yarns of this daring captaincy and the epic wave-crashing voyages of discovery he bravely navigated single handedly.
It was my boat he tells them.
It was given to me.
A row of candidates line up starboard side and a new leader is decided - promises of a new beginning, better conditions, less duties and more pay - there is a palpable sense of excitement amongst this crew.
And now, one of those who stood stedfast, by the soon departed leader, now stands at the wheel, ready to seize the reigns of power and lead the boat on a steady course for success.
Wave upon wave, tide upon tide and the ship is now many more weeks into its journey.
From months of unknowing, a small bottle washes up upon the shore and yet again news of disturbing dispatches and deceitful disclosures, make their way towards the town.
For upon the ship is a captain, a reckless galavant born into admiralty, placed at the wheel by birth right and blaggery.
A captain, by moniker only, who is keen to steer the ship and led the crew to waters deep, to waters uncharted, navigating without caution to complete the deeds of yesteryear as homage to the captains who graced the deck before him and to those with whom placed coins of gold within his palm.
Stedfast by his side, advisors and senior crew who watch on with muted concern. Hesitant of action, tentative to offer the truth.
It wouldn’t be worth it.
As those at the wheel will never change the culture when they choose not to learn from those who have failed.