Oceanic Trust

May 4, 2007

There are times I need a horizon line to feel the expanse of space and minimize individual significance.  Strange as it may seem I feel  safety in that immense exposure–as if by being undefended I have grasped a wisp of immortality. 

Diving into the undulating salt water I rejoin essential being.  I understand birds in flight supported by the invisible air.  Floating without movement I play dead and drift in the flow of life.  My body leaves me and I am consciousness untethered.

Last Sunday I jumped into the Atlantic for the first time this year.  Breath convulsed as the cold shocked my body.  April ocean water in Virginia is not conducive to meditative dunkings so my immersion was short-lived.  But to be back in the water.  A return to the uterine existence of fish gills and soft flesh. 

My ocean submersions have been less in the last few years.  Mainly due to my time spent in the crystal blue waters of Hawaii gazing at the rainbow colors flitting about.  I find it difficult to move from that purity back to the opaque greenish brown offering on the shores of Virginia Beach.  But it is of the same essence and although murky to me still holds the same fragile world in its far-reaching grasp.  I’d gotten used to being able to see through the ocean water and now when I cannot I fear that which may or may not be there swimming under my body or through the dark circuitry of my brain.

I need to relearn trust–in that which is unseen, in that which supports and flows through us all.

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6 Responses to “Oceanic Trust”


  1. I wish I could swim better than I can, then I would be out in the oceans too. Mind you the North Sea off Scotland isn’t too inviting either!

  2. Rob Kistner Says:

    “There are times I need a horizon line to feel the expanse of space and minimize individual significance.”

    Your powerful opening line is a poem within your post.

    Excellent!

  3. Deb G Says:

    This is a beautiful expression of a feeling I identify with too. I grew up swimming on the beaches of South Eastern Alaska and the Puget Sound and even as I am drawn to be in the water, have always had to fight a fear of what is in the water with me-the jelly fish you can’t see is the one that is going to sting you.

  4. Patois Says:

    Until I spent time in Hawaii, I enjoyed Virginia Beach. But I ended up turning my nose up at the Atlantic after my several years in Hawaii. I’m glad I finally got over it. Each ocean, each beach, each sea offers us something.

  5. awareness Says:

    BRRRRRRRR!

    I visited the Atlantic Ocean this past weekend, though it was WAY too chilly to even do a toe dip! I’m farther north than you….. 🙂

    It was beautiful to be on the beach soaking in the gifts of the ocean colour and breezes……and perhaps I will do a quick dunk this summer. My little patch of the Atlantic never warms up.

    ps….i too loved your first line……it pulled me right into the piece.

    oh and……………….interesting post on where you are with your career. it’s spooky sometimes when all of a sudden your verbalize something profound and succinct, as you did to your friend, and you had no idea where it even came from. I find that often happens with my writing…..most recently when I wrote about illusions (yesterday). We often have no conscious understanding of what we are ruminating over until the words find us………..before we even know it to be true.

    our life/work choices are ever evolving……..kind of like the shoreline! 🙂

  6. Matthew Says:

    Hi Crafty–I’m sure the North Sea is way too cold to hone your swimming skills. I’ve been in the North Sea before (at least I think I was) at a beach near Amsterdam but it was August and the weather was warm.

    Thanks Rob–that was the first image that came into my head when I saw the prompt. Something about those wide open spaces…

    Yes Deb–it is such a strange feeling to return to the beaches I grew up on and no longer experience the same level of comfort. There were a couple of shark attacks a few years back and I’m sure that factors into my fear. I still go in but not as far as before.

    Patois–that’s a great way of looking at it, I too am glad of my time in Hawaii and appreciate that I am only a short drive from the Atlantic ocean. Although the water is clearer in Hawaii my family is here in Virginia Beach.

    Hi Awareness–I like your tying in of the career choice with the shoreline. Certainly it is an evolution and always in flux. That moment of inspiration when something is revealed–Wow!–the synchronicity of the universe playing out in marvelous ways

    I do hope that you take a dip sometime this summer–even if in wetsuit–that reuniting with a great body of water always holds significance.

    Thanks everyone for your insightful comments!

    Matthew


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