The Chronicles of Padre Omassi – by Padre Omassi – circa 1568
[Seal of the Vatican] – these chronicles have been suppressed and entrusted to the Vatican archives by order of his Holiness Pope Pious XI – Order 1576
7th April 1542
May the Lord show mercy and beneficence. My heart continues to tremble and quake – but it will pass. There is a something strangely pleasurable in the knowledge that the troubles and vexations that belabor me, lie now behind me, an ocean away – and with every hour, and every day, as we head farther towards the New World, they get farther behind me. The chord that connects me with my prior life is thinning. Will it break? Do I want it to?
15th April 1542
We’ve had a good weeks sailing and the Captain General say’s we are making good speed. The ocean is vast! The world is vast! What compels men to attempt to traverse it? The same thing that compelled me perhaps. What was that? A desire to take flight! Some men, Ha! some men are made such that they cannot sit still. Always in movement they must remain, lest they go mad. As children such men must be not blessings for their mothers. There are forces that ‘push’ us to try the Great Ocean Sea, and there are forces that ‘pull’ us.
I am running away! But – it is not only Ana, for she; or her rejection of my poor little heart (Oh Ana!), does play a big part in the theatre of my life being played out now in the ocean stage. But there is a pull too. I want to do good! Yes good! My heart rejoices and jumps high to the moon when I contemplate the richness of the world that God has created before my eyes! See the bird that returns to its nest with food for its chicks – such love! See the dolphins smiling and arching in the shimmering azure sea – such wonder! See the mountains rising majestically to the misty clouds and poking through – such grandeur! See the truth of the Lord written on the wings of a butterfly’s spots – such beauty!
In short: love, wonder, grandeur, beauty. I see these everywhere, and I feel the truth of His creation in my heart. I want to…give my gift of understanding and love – to others. To share.
There are benighted races in the world, dark and savage and ugly, and living under the pall of a deep ignorance, that I can make vanish. If only, they could be made to feel the love, and wonder, and majesty and beauty that trembles in my heart! Ah! I want to sacrifice myself upon the altar of ‘giving’. The altar of truth. The truth I feel in the deep well of my heart and the fibre of my very being.
She rejected me, but I will reject no other! I will save them! The heathens!
19th April 1542
I look at the men on the ship and I see heroes. Are we not all noble and good? What is the purpose of this venture? Every man may have his reasons, but there are grander motives at work. To bring a darkness into the light! To show the savage world the right way – for, if somebody is lost in the forest of confusion (that is life), is it not a good deed to show the way? Hold his / her hand and lead them. It is not the wealthy Count nor the Prince nor the Duke that make history. It is these men. These dirty, wretched sun-baked men. I see these men and their eyes speak of a confusion deep down – and yet, when one looks at their deeds, this venture! Is it not noble and good? So tell me, how can such confusion in the eyes of such men, lead to such noble and grand deeds? It is beyond reasoning. The goodness and nobleness emanates not from reason, but vision! History is dug by such men. The tapestry of history is joined together by these men. They and we are the history makers. We the few that dare! When they approach me, they bow in deference and respect, for they know, that the truth I have inside, is the truth. The truth is love! But will they understand? The heathens?
Love! Let’s speak of love then. A woman’s love for a man, is different to a man’s love for a woman. A man’s love for a woman (Ohh! Ana!), is of a true and real nature. His love is for things strange: the manner in which her hair curls around her ear, or the manner in which her eyes have that glaze film on them when she is staring at her love, or (oh mother of God!), the manner in which with a single smile, a single movement of her lips – she can make a man’s certainties of the world come tumbling down! A man of knowledge, can sit with a woman knowing that he commands knowledge of the movement of the planets and their courses through space, or the inner workings of the organs of the flesh, or the patterns of the tides and ocean currents – yet, with one smile, she can disarm such a man! She who knows not such things, yet wields such power! Oh mighty God! What have you created in woman! A curse for men!
I must stop thinking of Ana! – It’s this damned confined space that makes my mind small. I want to see vast and grand things so my thoughts can soar! I want to see mountains! I want my mind to soar on the thermals of the albatross! Is the sea not vast! It is! But it is empty, and the horizon, infinite. There is emptiness all around me. Apologies for my dark humors. They attack me at unforseen times. They are my muse, and my oppressor – both
20th April 1542
Ah! The cloud has lifted. The world seems happier, even better. The sun is shining! Golden sun and blue blue skies. Ha! The world! This ship!
The men were speaking today of mighty riches and strangenesses in the New World. They spoke of many things. There was the tale of a grand city – high up, up in the clouds. Hidden away from the clutches of grasping men. A city of fantastic riches and a mountain made of Silver – that shimmers and glimmers in the noon-day sun. Riches to turn a pauper man into a respectable Prince. And in this city they speak too of a leader. A heathen king no doubt who commands great powers. Sparks of lightning from his fingertips and such nonsense – and he can defy the god of gravity and fly! Like a bird! Ha! And he has powers over life and death! Our Spanish king has sent an emissary on-board this ship, with a message to relay at the royal court of this magician king.
Only God our Lord and saviour has powers over life and death!
I too will join the emissary, and pay a visit to the court of this magician king and teach him a truth or two. For if there is no light, how can darkness be dispelled?
[To be continued….]