Tiira, Ensio - Raft of despair
Type of Spiritual Experience
Tiira may have been in contact with his Higher spirit, which is a real possibility at such times, or it may as he thought have been inter composer communication with his mother
A description of the experience
Raft of despair – Ensio Tiira
The rain ended and I sealed up the bottle, returning it to its place inside my shirt. My mind couldn't fully grasp the fact that Ericsson was dead. I felt he was my friend still and it was a comfort to have him with me.
He was lying in the centre of the raft and I moved him into a better position, folding his arms over his chest and putting his feet up straight along the ropes. I had promised to bury him on shore, but if I couldn’t reach shore myself maybe the ships that eventually found us would give him – and me - a decent burial. We had made the solemn compact early in our days on the raft and I must do my best to keep it.
I thought I might now be about a week's drift from Ceylon. The drift from the east had prevailed, both wind and current combining to take the raft to the west. I couldn't hope to live for a week. Two or three days would be my limit and that was giving me a target of three weeks at sea. Three weeks on this square of floats. I would not have been much worse off on one of the big pieces of driftwood we'd passed. A great loneliness descended upon me. I went all over Ericsson's body looking for identifying marks. I was filled with remorse that I hadn't got the address of his mother's home and I thought that by some ark or other I might be able to give a clue to his identity. But there was only the missing finger on his left hand and that told me nothing.
Now there was no one to talk to I was frightened that I might go mad with loneliness. I would certainly die unless I was picked up soon. The last funeral I had attended was in Poland, where we buried a Swedish sailor from my ship. Now there would soon be a Swede and a Finn to bury. I had visions of the raft drifting on for months until one day a ship came upon us and found our skeletons. How would they know who or what we were? We had no papers to identify us. All they would find beside our bodies would be a plastic bag, a hot-water bottle and some pieces of broken mirror. They would wonder who the fools were to have ventured out into an ocean so badly equipped and in so poor a vessel. And then they would bury us.
All this dwelling on death was bad for me and I tried to push the thought out of my mind. I didn't pray, and I'm not a religious man usually, but for the whole voyage I'd had the strange feeling that someone else was with me, watching over me and keeping me safe from harm. I sensed it in the storm, when we nearly overturned, and many other times. It was as if there were sometimes three people on the raft, not two. With Ericsson dead I felt it more strongly than ever.
Perhaps it was my mother's prayers for me in Finland.
She was always anxious for my safety. Maybe this strong bond between us came to my mental rescue at this time. She couldn't know where I was, of course. Algeria and Indo-China probably didn't seem so very much different to her. Certainly she couldn't have known that I was in my eighteenth day at sea on a raft that most people would not choose to cross a river in, and that my friend and companion next to me was dead.
My mind more at rest, my heart freed of the heavy pain of fear, I lay across the ropes and thought of all Ericsson and I had been through. The enthusiasm and the urgency of the night we lay on an identical raft and planned our escape. It seemed so long ago that Ericsson had swayed me, convinced me against my will with his persuasive optimism. What an ending for so inspired an adventure.
My thirst grew worse during the afternoon.
The source of the experienceTiira, Ensio
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsCommunication with bodied souls
Activities and commonsteps
Loneliness and isolation
Overwhelming fear and terror