Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Last Voyage

Captain Yusof, the blogger known as The Ancient Mariner passed away last night.

I did not know him for long. I knew that he was an old sailor, and I have always liked listening to tales from old sailors. And that maybe if I'm rich enough one day, I might even take up sailing. If I can ever deal with my fear of big things underneath dark waters.

Earlier this year, he went on a journey to retrace the route his ancestors - the Bugis - took in the old days. Sea routes, that is.

Apparently the Bugis left their seed all over this region. I listened to quite a few Bugis pirate stories from the man. And near-rambunctious, swashbuckling tales of his own youth.

How he decided to run off and become a sailor, drawn to the sea, and only coming back years later.

Always jolly - easy with a laugh and a chuckle. He reminded me, of Harlan Ellisson, whom I never met. And of my own maternal grandfather, who often recounted tales of his pilgrimage to Mecca, aboard a bloody ship.

The Captain lost his mother recently - last week, in fact - which I did not know until today.

These two months - June and July - have been months of sickness and of death. For all of you out there, stay safe.

And for the Captain, may you sail to whatever land we Bugis go to after we die. And they bloody well have a good beach.

Remember, second star to the right, and straight on till morning.