The Bohemian Experiment

Night Sea

Posted by beckert10 on August 4, 2010

I travel winding, country highways
past estates sheltered by trees
until at last I’ve gone far enough east and am met
by a view of the cold Atlantic.

I stand on a beach with
thick, coarse sand.
The sea appears as
shimmering blue stretching as
far as the eye can see,
meeting the sky and becoming an indistinguishable
smudge of air and water.

The waves crash against the shoreline which
stretches on to points north and south.
The salty, fishy smell of low tide is in the air,
accompanied by shrieking gulls and
other swooping sea birds.

As darkness sets in the water becomes
harder to make out but
is still unmistakable.
A steady sea breeze
sweeps my hair to the side and balances out the
humid night air.

The tide moves in,
gains strength as the moon exerts its
pull and forces it
back toward the shore
as if each successive wave is an attempt
to swallow up the land
only to be turned way and
followed again by another
and another
and another.

The foamy, white crest of the waves
stands out in the darkness,
can be seen racing in from
both the left and the right,
steadily collapsing like a
stack of falling dominoes.

The sea is loud,
making it difficult to hear my companion’s words
so we decide not to talk at all.
We’re content to hear only the steady break of the waves that
have not stopped for all of mankind’s history,
are a symbol of something outside of our world,
something bigger.
The waves are a clue to forces we don’t fully understand
yet never cease to find solace in.
It is steadiness that makes the ocean so relaxing,
knowing that each wave that breaks will
be followed by another
and another
and another
If only the rhythm of our own lives were so simple.

Staring out at the dark sea is proof that there are
things beyond human knowledge.
Here is something hopelessly
like outer space
right here on earth.
And yet,
all the things that make it so awesome
and us so insignificant in comparison
do not feel like a reason to despair, but
to delight.

The ocean is terrifying at night.
It is a black, writhing body with no borders,
only icy depths full of nothing
and everything
as if my greatest fears are contained in every rising swell.

I strip naked and proceed,
through force of will, into the frigid blackness.
The whole ocean moves.
Swells rise up before me like dark phantoms
gaining shape and size as they close in.

Only now can I understand the size of the sea.
The light tricks one into thinking they can accurately
imagine the size of things
while darkness allows no safe illusions.

A swell is about to break over me. I
close my eyes and dive head first into it,
open my eyes underwater and see nothing, only
hear the deep, bass of the surf around me.
The world is a dull roar in my head.
I go limp and close my eyes, look up and see the
white light of a crescent moon,
a single streak dancing on the writhing surface of the sea.
My naked body is carried by the motion of the waves,
a piece of driftwood in the tides of time
I am a babe in the womb,
floating peacefully in the amniotic salinity.

I give in to the night sea,
to the forces that control it.
Let them drown me,
sweep me out to sea.
Let them have their way with me.
For I know sooner or later,
they will do so anyway.


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