wave

September, 2014


Positano, Italy

Today I sat on the edge of a dock, where I’d spent some time the past few days, watching the ocean and brainstorming ways I could start to let go of the mental attachments that are keeping me from being fully present and are keeping me in a state of anxiety each day. I started seeing the aspects of home as different components of the sky above me, constellations that present themselves in various orientations throughout the year. I thought about where I am now, and how the sky is the same container and my home constellations still exist somewhere within it, but they are not visible in the way I am used to from this point on earth. There are different constellations in front of me at the moment, and the ones that looked upright and center at home may be smaller, skewed and off to the left here, or upside down and beyond the horizon and visibility. Those groups of stars and planets and I still exist in relation to one another, but we’re staged differently.

I looked again at the ocean, at the fishing boats moored in place, and thought of the anchors keeping them in casual circumference to a particular point at the ocean’s bottom. Free to drift, but not too far. I envisioned my home life as an anchor, and the sheer expanse and greatness of the ocean around me. I cut the chains and let the pain of giving up control sink in. I let myself feel the impact of this lightness, the way it hurt my chest and made my stomach drop. As I opened my eyes and started to wonder if I was free now, and again began to think, I saw the ocean drop by my feet, and understanding in an instant what was about to happen, looked up at the enormous wave heading in and preparing to lift me and my belongings off the dock.

Thankfully, the ocean only took my phone (and politely gave me back my shoes and hat) but its message was laughably obvious. I’m a little bummed about losing all the several hundred pictures that just today I had been trying to back up to my iPad, and frustrated at myself for feeling any kind of loss over a thing like an iPhone and for not having been patient or organized enough to figure out how to back up my data. I’m incredibly grateful it didn’t take all my money, which was in the same bag, or my passport. I have a lot of things.

For days I’ve been asking whatever forces that may be for help letting go. I’ve been looking at the ocean, admiring her gentleness and how clear and easy she is to understand while I greedily take pictures and invent new traps to try and capture her beauty, and out of what? Out of some fear that I cannot possibly take in all that she’s giving me, that I need to take all I can get and more than I need? Today she made a fool of me and snapped me out of my navel-gazing.

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