Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ocean revelations

The ocean is speaking. It says "Come and visit me today. When you were young I'd see you much more often standing on the shore amazed at my imensity. I have many secrets to reveal, if only you'd return to the magical place, where my waters sift the sand and kiss your feet."

Its siren call almost wins me over. But I am very tired. And not so young anymore. Instead I sit and listen to the time as it moves past me, in the slow mechanical monotony of the clock's pendullum, which swings above my head like a damaclean sword.

Tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow. . .

It is cold and the gray windswept sky presses down with the force of my deepest fears. The sand feels cold and sticky as it collects between my numbing toes. My shoes lay somewhere in the tall beach grass that permeates the dunes.

Time seems endless here. I lose track of it while plodding through the pasty sand and the frigid water, that once again has dared to reach my feet. Thinking I heard someone call out to me, I swing around, but no one is within sight. Instead I see a single line of footprints that disappears around a bend in the shore. "Only one set of footprints" like in the poem, except these I know are mine and not God's. I know well by now the prints my feet leave behind. I've spent half my lifespan leaving them in endless circles, or along paths I wish I'd never taken... past others I wish I had.

Shards of shells coughed up from the surf like an infection are gnawing at my feet. These, I think, will be the only secrets given up by this coquettish sea. The momentary silences between the crashing waves give way to the mocking laughter of some gulls. My feet are hurting, one is bleeding, and the wing'ed white beings above just keep laughing from their lofty position in the sky, like a chorus of demon angels announcing the birth of absolutely nothing. Their screeching calls echoing and building, make me dizzy with angst and fury because the ocean reveals nothing to me anymore. My head feels like it will explode from the relentless cackles of the birds, which have now been joined by others.

Hands over my ears, I stand here and try to ignore the chorus, and watch my single path of footprints being erased by the careless tide. It will wipe away every trace of my presence here, as if to say, "Look, you were never here at all."
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7 comments:

Ruth Z Deming said...

Like me, Peter, you are drawn to the ocean. The ocean has knack of giving back to people... exactly what we give it. If we give it our negative thoughts it rewards us with its great repository of gloom for who can compete with the ocean, certainly not mortal creatures like us.

When I go to the ocean I go for renewal and I make sure I receive it. The gulls do not mock me. They send me their surety and their joy about being alive. They ask no questions, they just exist, pure simplicity and instinct. Would we wish to trade places? Not I. I like all the choices I have in life which become all the more precious the older I get.

When you go down to the sea, the sea receives you as an equal. She gives you what you want if you are prepared to let go of your entire life and just exist the way the stars or the fishes do.

Stan said...

Dear Pete:

Figured I would throw just a little scrap of thought your way for whatever its worth. Have you ever noticed that YESTERDAY and TOMORROW are much longer than TODAY!

Get off your butt, scream, yell, jump up and down like a kangaroo if you have too, even break down and cry if that's what you feel and need to do. But get past the heinous monster with every ounce of effort you can muster (That's what I always called the front door “Monster” when I was caught in the bleak dimly lit place of emotional isolation and gloom).

Go out to the beach and look at that sand as now in this very moment, with one step following another this feeling a new as each grain of sand goes running through your toes and awaking your senses.

Run along the break water’s edge and be that frolicking child again. Believe it or not, it's perfectly OK to be or feel whatever you want. It's even OK to have those so called normal people look at you like your mental constitution is not quite all there.

Tomorrow is just today unused and yesterday has been washed away with the tides of change and time. Today is here; you get to choose what it means and what action you’re willing to take.

Isn't it said that usually what we miss in this grand experiment of life; is what we didn't really try to experience with unbridled courage and fortitude; even from that fragile and fear filled place of pain, weakness, and suffering?

Yours truly,
Stan

Stephany said...

I love the ocean, and beaches;it's one of my favorite places.

Pyrs said...

@Stephany - Yea me too. And its been on my mind to get there so much lately. But there are times when nothing seems to do the trick, when nothing speaks to me like it used to.
Thanks for checking in. It is appreciated.

Pyrs said...

@Ruth - I like what you said. Sometimes I just have a bad day. But I don't have the faith and assurance in the ocean et al really caring about me. I need to get over my crusty cynical shortcomings. But at least my cats don't laugh at me. Although they do talk behind my back at times.
Pete

Pyrs said...

@Stan - Well I left responses on your site twice, but because the comments must be reviewed by you and your CIA cohorts, I couldn't copy them to post here. So hopefully everyone reading this will know that I was very appreciative and thankful for your thoughts. I will refer back to them often, because they are where I would like to find myself a year from now.
Pete

Pyrs said...

@Stephany
That's why I am glad I can count on you and Gianna to keep me in line if I whine too much. Sometimes I simply need a hug... Will someone give me a hug, please.