We Sail Ourselves

You may be a yacht or a clipper
or a catamaran or a little sunfish
Whatever you are, you are
on a voyage
You are the little captain
looking out
at the seas ahead
at storms or sunny breezes
Sometimes we fear our doom
when great waves hurl our stomachs
and winds drive us off our course
and leave us in uncharted waters

Other times doldrums drag on
and we can only wait
and paddle
if we don’t have a motor

Yes, it’s a cute and obvious metaphor:
I am a consciousness
housed in a vessel
a little man perched behind my own eyes
peering out of my skull

I’ve had my share of storms
some victories too
I steer this body that in a strange way
is me
Viewed this way I am
a marvel to myself

How did I get in here
not exactly trapped
but present inside this skull
enfleshed and embodied?

How is it I can control this hand
holding this pen
writing these lines
that I am making up?

Is this hulk of organic matter really me?
Is this my home?
I’ve known no other
but somehow it feels provisional
It’s the ship I’m sailing for now

Some philosophers say consciousness is an illusion, a construct of billions of neurons passing electrical signals

It is no more an illusion
than a real captain
sailing a real ship
a little captain sailing a ship, sailing a ship