“The child plays. The toy boat sails across the pond. The work is just begun. Oh child, look what you have done!”
When I read Rena Easton lost her beloved husband and daughter, I wept.
Just after I wrote the sentence above, Christine Wandel, called me from New York. Her and Stephen Eins had a misunderstanding, and she was crying. She thought she had lost him. I reassured her she had not.
I then asked Chris if she remembers the painting I was doing when we lived together in a grand Victorian in Oakland. Chris fell in love with me when she saw me doing this painting. She was my best friend’s woman. After they had a fight, she came to my bed naked, and ended my days as a virgin. I was twenty years of age. The year is 1967. We have remained dear friends ever since. We have not laid eyes on each other since 1986.
“It was a beautiful seascape, full of beautiful colors. It was a sunset. There was a figure of a woman on the sand.”
“My God! Is this what you recall? What size was the canvas?”
“It was large, and so beautiful.”
Chris grew up on Beacon Hill in a three story brownstone. Her father was a wealthy doctor. We were members of the ‘Love Generation’. We did well to find love, and make love.
Love Dance is now taking on epic proportions. It has become a Ring Legend with the coming of the dwarf Alberich to Bozeman in search of the Rhyming Miner who came by the name Rosamond ‘The Rose of the World’ for this is ‘The Banner” that God raised in the Song of Songs.
This is a Love Story that is a Starship of a better and nobler design. It was launched by the great poet, Walt Whitman. Rena Victoria Easton and I are destined to co-author a great Love Story. We inspire one another.
Rena is that banner who stands on the eternal shore and awaits for her sailor she loves, to come home from the sea.
“But do you reserve especially for yourself and for the soul of man one flag above all the rest,
A spiritual woven signal for all nations, emblem of man elate above death.
“He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.”
Song of Songs
“I am sorry I did not become a man,
but only ask “What is a man?”
I’m sorry I am not dead, but,
the truth has killed me.
Oh father I have gone to war!
And I wish I was home again!”
When troubles with the Barbary states heated up in 1802, he went to the Mediterranean as First Lieutenant of the frigate Adams. Hull later commanded the schooner Enterprise and the brig Argus, receiving promotion to the rank of Master Commandant in 1804 and to Captain in 1806. During the next few years, he supervised the construction of gunboats and, in 1809 and 1810, was successively given command of the frigates, Chesapeake, President and Constitution.
I. A Song for all Seas, all Ships
Book XIII: Song of the Exposition
[from verse 8]
Behold, the sea itself,
And on its limitless, heaving breast, the ships;
See, where their white sails, bellying in the wind, speckle the green and blue,
See, the steamers coming and going, steaming in or out of port,
See, dusky and undulating, the long pennants of smoke.
Book XIX: Sea-Drift: Song for All Seas, All Ships
Today a rude brief recitative,
Of ships sailing the seas, each with its special flag or ship-signal,
Of unnamed heroes in the ships — of waves spreading and spreading far as the eye can reach,
Of dashing spray, and the winds piping and blowing,
And out of these a chant for the sailors of all nations,
Fitful, like a surge.
Of sea-captains young or old, and the mates, and of all intrepid sailors,
Of the few, very choice, taciturn, whom fate can never surprise nor death dismay.
Pick’d sparingly without noise by thee old ocean, chosen by thee,
Thou sea that pickest and cullest the race in time, and unitest nations,
Suckled by thee, old husky nurse, embodying thee,
Indomitable, untamed as thee.
Flaunt out O sea your separate flags of nations!
Flaunt out visible as ever the various ship-signals!
But do you reserve especially for yourself and for the soul of man one flag above all the rest,
A spiritual woven signal for all nations, emblem of man elate above death,
Token of all brave captains and all intrepid sailors and mates,
And all that went down doing their duty,
Reminiscent of them, twined from all intrepid captains young or old,
A pennant universal, subtly waving all time, o’er all brave sailors,
All seas, all ships.
II. On the Beach at Night, Alone
Book XIX: Sea-Drift: On the Beach at Night Alone
On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.
A vast similitude interlocks all,
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time,
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different,
All identities that have existed or may exist
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.
III. (Scherzo) The Waves
Book XIX: Sea-Drift: After the Sea-Ship
After the sea-ship, after the whistling winds,
After the white-gray sails taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves hastening, lifting up their necks,
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship,
Waves of the ocean bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves, liquid, uneven, emulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,
Where the great vessel sailing and tacking displaced the surface,
Larger and smaller waves in the spread of the ocean yearnfully flowing,
The wake of the sea-ship after she passes, flashing and frolicsome under the sun,
A motley procession with many a fleck of foam and many fragments,
Following the stately and rapid ship, in the wake following.
IV. The Explorers
Book XXVI: Passage to India:
[from verse 5]
O vast Rondure, swimming in space,
Cover’d all over with visible power and beauty,
Alternate light and day and the teeming spiritual darkness,
Unspeakable high processions of sun and moon and countless stars above,
Below, the manifold grass and waters, animals, mountains, trees,
With inscrutable purpose, some hidden prophetic intention,
Now first it seems my thought begins to span thee.
Down from the gardens of Asia descending radiating,
Adam and Eve appear, then their myriad progeny after them,
Wandering, yearning, curious, with restless explorations,
With questionings, baffled, formless, feverish, with never-happy hearts,
With that sad incessant refrain, Wherefore unsatisfied soul? and Whither O mocking life?
Ah who shall soothe these feverish children?
Who Justify these restless explorations?
Who speak the secret of impassive earth?
Who bind it to us? what is this separate Nature so unnatural?
What is this earth to our affections? (unloving earth, without a throb to answer ours, Cold earth, the place of graves.)
Yet soul be sure the first intent remains, and shall be carried out,
Perhaps even now the time has arrived.
After the seas are all cross’d, (as they seem already cross’d,)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their work,
After the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the geologist, ethnologist,
Finally shall come the poet worthy that name,
The true son of God shall come singing his songs.
[from verse 8]
O we can wait no longer,
We too take ship O soul,
Joyous we too launch out on trackless seas,
Fearless for unknown shores on waves of ecstasy to sail,
Amid the wafting winds, (thou pressing me to thee, I thee to me, O soul,)
Caroling free, singing our song of God,
Chanting our chant of pleasant exploration.
O soul thou pleasest me, I thee,
Sailing these seas or on the hills, or waking in the night,
Thoughts, silent thoughts, of Time and Space and Death, like waters flowing,
Bear me indeed as through the regions infinite,
Whose air I breathe, whose ripples hear, lave me all over,
Bathe me O God in thee, mounting to thee,
I and my soul to range in range of thee.
O Thou transcendent,
Nameless, the fibre and the breath,
Light of the light, shedding forth universes, thou centre of them.
Swiftly I shrivel at the thought of God,
At Nature and its wonders, Time and Space and Death,
But that I, turning, call to thee O soul, thou actual Me,
And lo, thou gently masterest the orbs,
Thou matest Time, smilest content at Death,
And fillest, swellest full the vastnesses of Space.
Greater than stars or suns,
Bounding O soul thou journeyest forth;
[from verse 9]
Away O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers — haul out — shake out every sail!
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,
Sail forth — steer for the deep waters only,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.
O my brave soul!
O farther farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!
When the newly appointed commander of the U.S. Pacific Squadron, Commodore Isaac Hull departed New York in 1824 for his new assignment in the Pacific, he took his wife Ann Hart Hull of Old Saybrook as he usually did. Also on board was Ann’s sister Elizabeth and her new husband Heman Allen, the U.S. Minister to Chile, a favorite slave Leah, and another sister Jeannette (1794-1861).
Before they returned, they would face dilemmas and decisions involving a romantic adventure, a marriage proposal, a mistress, a miscarriage, and transporting a dead body while a continent-wide revolution raged.
Easton joined the Royal Navy in 1931 and qualified as a pilot at the start of World War II in which he saw active service on aircraft carriers. On 4 January 1941, flying a Fairey Fulmar of 803 Squadron from HMS Formidable during a raid on Dakar he force landed, with his aircrewman Naval Airman James Burkey and was taken prisoner and held by the Vichy French at a camp near Timbuktu until released in November 1942. He was appointed Assistant Director of the Tactical and Weapons Policy Division at the Admiralty in 1960 and was seconded to the Royal Australian Navy as Captain of HMAS Watson in 1962. He went on to be Naval Assistant to the Naval Member of the Templer Committee on Rationalisation of Air Power in 1965, Director of Naval Tactical and Weapons Policy Division at the Admiralty in 1966 and Captain of the aircraft carrier HMS Triumph in 1968. After that he was made Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy) in 1969, Flag Officer for the Admiralty Interview Board in 1971 and Head of British Defence Staff and Senior Defence Attaché in Washington D. C. in 1973. He last posting was as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1976: he commissioned armourial bearings for the College which were presented during a visit by the Queen in November 1977. He retired in 1978.
That grandiose book of occult lore, the Tarot, has the symbol of the rose pressed within its pages. Perhaps the most significant image in the deck is that portraying Death. This card retains its image and its number throughout the history of the Tarot. Its likely origin is in the Black Death which swept Europe in 1348 and which became a popular image for artists and writers in the centuries that followed. In the reknowned pack published by Waite, Death in black armour is riding a white horse. He carries in his left hand a flag on which is a white rose on a black field. In the field through which he rides are a dead king, a curious child, a despairing woman and a praying bishop. The sun is rising. The mysterious horseman moves slowly, and the square black banner is emblazoned with the Mystic Rose which signifies life. The interpretation of the card signifies renewal and rebirth. Waite rightly called his study of the Tarot “fragments of a secret tradition under the veil of divination”. The square banner equates to the number four, a feminine number, and relates to the elements and the Earth, and recalls all those sets of four things so often met with in esoteric literature. In this context, the rose on the banner is Rosa Mundi, emblematic of the eternal renewal of manifestation through Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World.