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Bright Bird and Shining Sails

Bright Bird & Shining Sails

Geoffrey Bingham

by Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

Subject: Salvation History, Allegory, Fantasy

Book Code: 012

Pages: 121pp, Book

Pub. Date: 1981 & 2007

ISBN: 0 94985 102 7

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Bright Bird & Shining Sails

The seer sees his vision of the three-sailed ship. Although delighted by it he is also troubled. He is concerned for his readers lest they do not profit by what they read. For this reason he warns some against reading it.

Book One

They say there is a place, and even a time, between sleeping and waking when we are between two worlds. They say that in that between-ness we may see things that are never there fully, either in waking or sleeping. Of this I do not really know. It could well be so. All I know is that I saw the three-sailed ship, clearly as though it were fully in this world, and in no other place. Yet it is also true that it was in another world, where the dimensions were such as I had not known, nor ever expect to know while this world stands.

This three-sailed ship was to say the least, startling. I might as well warn you, that if you read this account you, too will have to enter into the in-between time and place, for in this place the reality of this world is not rejected; indeed it is present. Again, in the in-between world some other world is also present, and it has the kind of dimensions you generally associate with dreams. Yet it is real. Hence, when you see the three-sailed ship with me, you will fully understand.

Given in all this, I have something of a warning for you. For want of a better word I have to call my story a vision, and yet I do not rightly know what a vision is, and I doubt whether any can give you a true description of a vision. A vision is like a dream, no doubt, but it is something you see in your waking moments. Once seen it is with you forever, and you cannot forget it, A dream generally fades away like the mist dissipating before the rising sun. Not so with a vision. To tell the truth it enters into you and is there always, and you can never get away from it.

I said, "a warning". Why then a warning, and what for? The answer is that a vision is so powerful it can totally change the life of a person. I need not recount to you men and women, both religious and otherwise, who have had visions, and what it has done to them, and also what they have done as a result of this vision. The ancients used to say, "Where there is no vision the people perish", I like that saying and am strongly inclined to believe it. However, it is its corollary which frightens me. The corollary is this, “Where the vision is told the visionary perishes!”

Now the strange thing is that the visionary lives in a terrible dilemma. If he tells his vision he will perish. If he does not tell it he will perish from the containing of it within himself. The strong, hot, and powerful vision will begin to work within him as a strange power which cannot be contained, and the pitiful visionary will feel its pull and tug and thrust, and then the very structure of him—body and mind—will feel the shaking and the trembling and the vibrations, so much so that he will not endure the agony, and at last, in an anguish of ecstasy he will tell the vision—come death or come life. So it is with me.

So it is with me: I know that when I tell it the protest of many will be so strong that I shall be run out of town, or out of life, or be ridiculed, and the laughter will not simply be scornful, but pitying and shattering, making me foolish. However, since I would find the pity better that the inward rumbling and tumbling and vibrating, I am forced to share my vision with you.

Because I am launched into it I am anxious to tell it and be over with it, and doubtless you also are curious. ....