For Such a Time as This: “Casting Off”

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None of us willingly chooses to live life without safety and happiness. Those ideas permeate our very Declaration of Independence. Only fools, anarchists, or sadomasochists would welcome perpetual danger, fear, and sorrow. And yet, setting up safety and happiness as the sole pillars for living are weak constructs at best. I’ve commented on this very issue in my post on “Sonnet of a Formerly Safe Man.” After writing that post, I encountered Sir Francis Drake’s full prayer (which you can read here: Sir Francis Drake’s full prayer). Inspired by his words, I wrote what eventually became the third song of my For Such a Time as This series.

The songs in this series follow an intentional progression: first, a call to flee “the prisons we’ve made” and those who continue to buy and sell us with lies and manipulation, moving on to a castigation of those stubborn heads that refuse to see the truth and therefore prevent fullness of life, and ending with this call to cast off from “safety’s shores,” for FEAR is one of the greatest cripplers – it is the shadow that T. S. Eliot references in his poem (that I’ve also already referenced) The Hollow Men. I think we’d be appalled if we were fully aware of all the forces that seek to steal, kill, and destroy what truly brings life. Perhaps the greatest safety and joy is to be found “buffeting waves that threaten my end.”

“Casting Off” – Track 3 from For Such a Time as This by Vincent H. Anastasi 2020

Casting Off

Vincent H. Anastasi 2020

In a late September, in the dying embers
Of a Summer burned to Fall
With the harvest gathered and the sounds of laughter
I could hear creation’s call – hmm, mmm, stirring deep within my heart

And as I left the safety to venture forth more bravely
Far away from harbors sure
Fear became the canker, contentment my soul’s anchor
Enamored by the port secure – oh, oh, I know it’s safer on these shores

         Don’t let me be found on safety’s shores
         Playing in puddles, contentedly moored
         Set me to drift on dreams again
         Buffeting waves that threaten my end


I had lost the hunger I had nursed when younger
That drove me on to wilder seas
Ceased to dare more boldly and held a vision homely:
Distraction spread like a disease – oh, oh, I know this isn’t what I’m meant to be

         Don’t let me be found on safety’s shores
         Playing in puddles, contentedly moored
         Set me to drift on dreams again
         Buffeting waves that threaten my end


So let the storms unveil me, in losing land, help me see
The hidden stars of foreign skies
Push back my hope’s horizon and may the future brighten
In strength and courage, love and life
Oh, oh, I go to smite the waves tipped white

         Don’t let me be found on safety’s shores
         Playing in puddles, contentedly moored
         Set me to drift on dreams again
         Buffeting waves that threaten my end

Published by thedeepened

I am a lover of words - the way they sing together in neat or sprawling lines upon the page, conducted by the great wordsmiths of all time. The way a sudden turn of phrase or surprising combination of sounds resonates with the deep within me, causing pause: moments of reflection and appreciation that transcend the superficial babblings and paltry visions of the infantile. Here at the deepening ground, it is my intent to make time and space for the reflection, appreciation, and creative imaginings that sustain the human soul.

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