Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Edge

Early morning walk by the sea. In the footprints of those who went down to the water before me. A young deer, raccoons—mother and child, a man—by the size and depth of the print. Following the deer track; a wandering sine wave over sand and shingle. Crab tracks. Tiny paired pinches over the ripples made by waves.

The surf flowing over and swirling around my calves. I feel the tug and pull of the sea. A gentle lure, here at the shallow edge of vastness. My mind bites the bait, swallowing down more than I want. Imagination diving far out—whales move out there, the unspeakable depths of the abyss. This ocean once full of monstrous beasts. It birthed and held them; stroking the sinuous lethality like a lover. A rippling terror flutters at the edges of consciousness.

This sea which has birthed and devoured so much life over billions of years. My feet, my tiny solitude, dipping carelessly into its margins. The vastness of it all overwhelms me. Because it is in me too. This unstoppable force. Each microscopic cell full of an ocean of its own. Pulled by the same forces, tidal risings and fallings. Busy birthing and devouring my body. This same water, this same ocean, from mother to mother, cell to cell, down from the beginning in an unbroken line of life.

Terror flutters dark wings patterning the brilliant light of awe. Perhaps this is the closest we ever come to physically touching the divine infinite. This human body, standing at the edge of the sea.

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