Tuesday, November 08, 2005

the sea

Sometimes when I am all alone I can see clearly.

From where I sit today I look from a cliff high above the ocean. The beach stretches before me like a blank canvas. Like specks on the beach I see little people grouped together in pairs. They walk sometimes side by side, sometimes apart but always coming back together again. Farther down the beach I see the only speck that is alone. He (or short haired she) is literally walking between a rock and a hard place. On one side of him stands a giant rock, or boulder that sits halfway above the surface of the beach like a whale with his head crashing above the water. On the other side of him the ocean was crashing closer and closer following in the moon at tide. As the waves pound, trying to reach his feet he just stays. Just stands staring out past the sea like waiting for a reply. Before he is taken by the waves he looks up as though given the answer he was waiting for and sprints off. I watch him (and now I can see it really is a HIM) as he runs to his car, jumping in impatiently as if he needs to share to the world what the sea had said.

I know how he feels, for I have waited for the ocean to speak, and it has. Sometimes it says “I dare you to jump in and try to ride my waves!” but I know it’s just trying to drown me so I ignore it till it gets pissed off and starts talking to someone else.

Sometimes, however, I come and sit on driftwood by the sea pondering life, hard questions and the ocean speaks to me. The waves crashing calm my mind till I can hear freely. The answer becomes clearer with every breaker that reaches earth

Far away I see the rocks jut into the sea where a lighthouse rests at the far end. The sky is that color of muted grey today, the same color as the lighthouse so the only reason I know it is there is the faint outline and the light flashing at me. I count how long before the light comes back around. One-one thousand, Two- one thousand, Three-one thousand, and four, the light flashes back.

The thing about this lighthouse is that there’s at LEAST a couple thousand feet of rock beyond it and a space of water and another island of rock. I wonder if, hundreds of years ago, on a dark night. A ship was sailing northbound hugging the shore trying to stay away from a storm that was hovering just beyond the horizon. The captain was trying to navigate away from the rocks when he saw the lighthouse flashing lights every four seconds, to guide him,. He yelled back to his crew “We just made it mates, were clearing the lighthouse now!” As he turned back to his ship steering wheel thingy he saw in horror his ship crumble as it smashed upon the rocks. His last words as he sank below the freezing-cold-dark-northwest water was probably “Why didn’t they build that damn lighthouse closer to the tip?!?” as he reached for a plank of wood that was just out of his reach.

The sun is now coming down at a rapid rate and the sky is now the color of the ocean so it’s almost impossible to tell where one ends and the other starts. It looks like a bad fake background in a movie set. I wouldn’t believe it was real if I hadn’t walked the shore earlier.

Sometimes when I sit in hotels such as this, my mind wanders. I stay in hotels at least four nights a week, that’s a lot of wandering.

My rooms are always the same, no matter which hotel. But my wanderings are always different. Sometimes after watching too much cable TV I’ll just sit staring out the window and let my mind dance in daydreams and get lost for a while.

Good daydreams are hard to come by although a bad daydream is usually better than real life in some ways. I believe that sometimes, this is the door way of insanity. For when we would rather daydream than experience real life, we can come to a crossroads of sorts. To embrace the daydream life and reject reality. I wouldn’t be surprised if most would rather daydream. That is another subject for another day.

For tonight all there is the invisible sea. The darkness now is impervious and it overtakes my view. For now all I see is black, except the light that will pass by in four seconds. The sound though, never disappears. It is rhythmic and soothing, angry and sullen over and over again.

It is a constant. No matter what shore I stand on, no matter what country or state. The Ocean may be Pacific or Atlantic, Mediterranean or Nordic. I’ve found the one constant, although varying in intensity, is the crashing and lapping of the waves as it finds land. For there is always an ending to the sea. There is always land that it finds. And there is always some one standing on land looking over the sea’s vast expanse and wondering as it crashes to their feet, if it has answers for them. And it always does. It always does.


Flyingwaitress said...

This is something I wrote last spring.

BethInPortland said...

Wow, that was really beautiful!

"As the waves pound, trying to reach his feet he just stays. Just stands staring out past the sea like waiting for a reply."

I love it!

Keep writing, you have a gift!

BonikaStJames said...

Wow, Teresa this is beautiful! You are an amazing writer.

On a funny, not so funny note, I've always wondered the same thinga about why they dont' put lighthouses at the end of the outcropping.

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