Phoenician Ship Builder
Somewhere in the 12th century B.C., I was born a dwarf male to a rich ship builder on a shipping port along the Red Sea. At that time I was viewed as deformed and ugly by many, and normally dwarfs didn’t live all that long due to inherent health reasons, but I thrived. My parents had hoped for a son to carry on the family business for a long time before I came along. And, even though I was ‘deformed’ my father embraced me and loved me very much. I believe my parents didn’t think they would have more children, since they had tried and lost a number before I was born. Though, a few years after my birth a sister was born. She was healthy and normal, but since she wasn’t a male, there was no expectation of her carrying on the business.
Anyway, my father was devoted to me, and regardless of my physical appearance and any handicaps stemming from that he taught me everything he could about building ships. Eventually it was my job to make specialized repairs that other people could not, as for the fact of my small stature I was able to squeeze into places and get things fixed or constructed where other boat craftsmen couldn’t. I was quite expert as doing many specialized tasks.
By and by my younger sister came to the age of being married. Anyone who entertained the notion of marrying her would understand the great wealth and potential of taking over the ship building business once married into the family. One of those suitors, the one most favored to win the hand of my sister knew this all too well and considered me a problem. As the months went by, the more his hate for me grew, the more convinced he was that I was ugly and stupid and a threat.
One day I was working on a ship that had just come in for repairs. Apparently there was a leak at the bottom of the ship, far below where the normal-sized craftsmen could reach, so it was my job to get down there and see what I could do to make the repair. The last think I remember is having wedged myself into a particularly tight spot to get at the break when suddenly the leak got so much worse and water rushed in over my head. As I was struggling to free myself I looked upward and looking down at me from the deck was the new husband or soon to be husband of my sister. He was glaring at me, his hatred clear on his face. He was in a position to save my life, but he was much more interested in eliminating me and any potential competition to the family wealth and business that I might represent. I can still see his face, slightly smirking at my demise, hate in his eyes as I slowly drowned.
This memory came about after I met a man in a restaurant on the Oregon coast one day. I was there with my sister and mother, but at some point I was left alone at the table when this man came and sat down across from me (this kind of thing never happened, before or since). He introduced himself and gave me his business card asking for my phone number – which, for whatever reason, I gave him.
He called after I got back home to Central Oregon and we spoke on the phone a couple of times, but by the second phone call it was really clear that there was something weird going on — and it reached beyond what I could see and hear.
After I hung up the phone I was electrified with emotion trying to figure out what the meeting of this man meant and why our paths had crossed. I remember asking to know exactly where this came from and why I had this experience. Only a few seconds later my field of vision was taken over by something I can only describe as an epic movie scene where the story above unfolded in living color and emotion.
The man on the phone is the man who was going to marry my sister, who allowed me to die so that he could carry on the business without me complicating things … we met so that he would know … and profoundly understand — that I am not ugly, or repulsive, or stupid. Done, done, and done.