A Star to Steer Her By

I am sailing, I am sailing,
home again 'cross the sea.
I am sailing, stormy waters,
to be near you, to be free.


Can you hear me, can you hear me
thro' the dark night, far away,
I am dying, forever trying,
to be with you, who can say.

Gavin Sutherland

Telemakhe washed her hands in the gray seafoam. She washed herself of the sticky and twisting words of the assembly, and her frustration with her own people. A nearby seashell she picked up. Rinsed it off in an ocean wave. Sitting in the dry sand she remembered as a child holding such pearly shells to the pink shell of her ear. If she listened closely, maybe she could hear the same ocean waves that were carrying her mother home. Perhaps she could hear the whisper of her voice.

"Dear deity of yesterday who urged me to take a ship across the misty seas, who encouraged me to seek word of my mother, the Akhaians only wait or seek to hinder me. What am I to do?"

"Telemakhe, what are you doing here?" asked Mentor, an old comrade-in-arms to Odysseus. "You must prepare immediately, no telling what mischief those suitors will be up to if given half a chance."

Telemakhe looked up into Mentor's kind gray eyes. "You are quite right. I'm just not certain where to start."

"I am an old sailing mate of your mother's. If you are anything like her, you will do just fine by trusting yourself and your ability to meet this challenge. Tell you what, you arrange the provisions for your trip, I'll arrange for ship and crew," said Mentor stroking the embroidered gold braid on his shirt.

"You'd do that for me?" Telemakhe crowed with delight. Standing she kissed Mentor on the cheek, "Thanks heaps for that." She immediately started for home still talking over her shoulder, "Should I meet you here this evening?"

"Wait until the morning star shines before dawn. The suitors will be sleeping off a drunken stupor and will not notice you slipping away," Mentor called after her with a chuckle. He then disappeared into an ocean haze.

Setting off.

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps