‘Sacrifice. Sacrifice. Sacrifice.’

The Captain murmured repeatedly walking along the decks of the burning ship. Bottle in hand. Bloodied from life. The stench of dark memories burning along with the ship.


He stumbled and fell being brought down to his knees. His knees were skinned from the weeks of hell brought forth by the raging ocean. A hell that tried to break him but only leaving him with dents.

He couldn’t be broken.

But oh did they really give it a good try. In their anger they set aflame to his ship sending his men into the lifeboats begging for him to dive overboard.

He just chuckled as he continued to walk amongst the engulfed timbers and sales.

‘No old ways eh? Ahh and yet how could you possibly see this coming? That’s right young man…you couldn’t have. Let it burn. Let it burn down into the depths of the ocean.’

The Captain took a moment to reflect on what had happened…a slew of delightfully catastrophic situations came his way to bring him down to the depths as well but he stood in his flames. He made decisions that would have destroyed him years ago. He knew what was best and let nothing tear away his heart from his knowing despite the great Mystery.

But he never knew the consequences of living in this role.

He never knew that at the end of the day there was nothing to put his back upon but himself. He couldn’t trust someone else to make the decision for him because he was the only one to make the decision.

With those decisions, if made with heart, he would begin to trust himself and live with the pain of growth rather than regret.

Never again would he live in regret. Never again would he wonder what could have happened if he trusted himself.

But the pains…oh the pains.

The pains of standing up to fear and walking those decks naked and vulnerable willing to be tested by life time after time.

He never knew those pains in this way.

Now, he knew. He knew better than most.

He knew the pains of putting himself in the wrong hands, a pain that he would never feel again. He didn’t belong to anyone now, but to the hands of the heavens themselves.

Out of the dark of the night and the flames of the ship came that Dark Wolf once again.

Seething at the jaws to feed off of the Captain’s fear.

But soon he turned his back because he realized there was nothing there for him to feed off. The Captain had embraced the Dark Wolf at last understanding that it was indeed the mud that made the lotus, and the lotus that needed the mud.

To a few looking upon the ship, seeing the Captain walk its boards melting under the fire, they believed he may have lost his mind. But to those who knew him intimately, a very small group amongst many, they knew he had come to terms with everything.

They knew he wasn’t burning down.

But that he was going through a reformation. They knew that he was blooming with redemption.

It was never the Captain’s intention to end this passage this way…walking amongst the burning vessel that brought him to this place. However, he knew better than most that you never could really see what was far down the line or how things were going to play out…you just had to embrace what was going on in the moment.

So for what some saw as a bit of madness, the Captain saw it as being truly alive.

There was something masochistic about his relationship with the darkness.

The mixing black colors in his soul.

He knew that every single time he entered that place, being battered down and beaten nearly to death by life, that something good was coming. Smiling with blood in his mouth he spit it out onto the deck and asked for more if it so dared.

The heavens saw that he had enough.

That his floor drenched with tears and the searing scars across his body had taught him enough for now.

So it began to rain.

And those flames that were scorching his ship were put out. The men who escaped from the wreck returned and he looked at them with a glint in his eye and an intensity that had been birthed from the raging fires of hell itself…

We go on men.

What’s in the past is gone. What’s in the future no longer concerns me.

Minute by minute.

This is the only time we have.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project