From within my cocoon at sea, I uncoil my body like a caterpillar.
I am fattened by leaves and petals that promise a future of winged flights, still I crawl.
I wonder what has really called me here, into both the substratum and surface of the spirit kingdom.
The kingdom of: bubbles, waves, clouds, sharks, songs, fish, seabirds, blue, dragons, whales, storms, seaweed, sirens, monsters, dolphins, phantoms, moonlight, sunlight, and starlight.
I was looking for something out here. Some missing piece of me that could only be found by getting lost, by crawling into a shell, by staring into the dark, by traversing across latitudes and longitudes, and listening to the wild beatings of the heart.
As I draw near to land, I fear that I have found that piece, but that I won’t be able to hold onto it once I touch the shore- that it will slip through my fingers like sand slipping into the sea. That I will arrive and my puzzle will fall apart and again be riddled with missing pieces. That it was a voyage done in vain. And I am fragmented once again.
Who am I? At the very root of my bones and blood of my flesh? Am I the shape of now and is it the same color as air?
All I know for certain is that I was born a stranger into a world of strange.
That throughout my life I have found myself and lost myself over and over and over again. Because the particles of my being always felt too slippery and challenging to hold onto in this world of strange. Because it was easier to toss whatever I truly was into the wind and change shapes, change colors, change patterns, again and again and again.
Out here surrounded by nothing human, I feel more human than I have ever felt. It’s a perplexing thought to hold in the palm of the mind.
Perhaps I am not human. Maybe I am an alien who crawled out of the sea and into the belly of a human- to be born again?
Who in the heck knows?! All I know is that there is a freedom and ease to life at sea. It’s slow and simple with challenges that scream to the spirit “You Are Alive!”
Life at sea is light. It is air. It is wild. It is rain. It is sky. It is breath and salt water and breeze. And it feels very different to life on land.
Out here I feel completely whole working in unison with and sometimes struggling against these elements. On land,
a great portion of time is spent in separation from these same elements, and perhaps that is the disconnection within me that I feel when my feet are there.
Bernard Moitessier was winning a Round the World Race for single-handed sailors and decided to forfeit the race so that he could continue traversing the sea. He says, “Sailing in these waters, if man is crushed by his feelings of insignificance, he is borne up and protected by that of his greatness. It is here, in the immense desert of the Southern Ocean, that I feel most strongly how much man is both atom and god.”
It is that beautiful mixture, both lilliputian and colossal in size, that one can feel on the ocean.
Today the feelings internally are like this, in resistance to the return.
Externally, have you ever felt the summer heat of the south. Like the flames of inferno with wet moisture drizzled on top. It’s the kind of heat that makes words lazy, cows lie, and birds fall right out of the sky. Well, that’s the kind of heat that I’m in right now. Nothing feels quite natural about it. It’s as if the sun is too close to this earth and everything is about to burn to the ground leaving life singed and in sorrow. I am afraid to look into the face of the sun today. It might blind me.
But even the great heat of the sun makes me feel alive.
There is a twilight zone in the ocean where the sun does not go. It’s the blackest of blacks and home to organisms that glow. I can see it, a dark world of slow moving bioluminescent creatures. Sounds trippy!
There is also a “deep-sound channel” aka SOFAR in the ocean. Sound is already moving five times faster in water than it does in air, but it moves slightly faster the deeper you go. The SOFAR is 1000 meters down and it’s where the whales can communicate across entire bodies of ocean.
If I was a creature of the sea, I’d be an octopus with special powers to travel to the twilight zone and a special sound that could infiltrate the SOFAR. That’s what I’d be if I lived in the sea.
4 Replies to “A World Of Strange”
Thru all your experiences over the past 3 weeks you
Seem to love the sea more and what mother sea has given you these experiences seem to be
As you stated helping you find your way in this challenging life we all live today. Should you decide to stay at sea I would hope you may meet someone that has this same passion, being totally alone to me would do much harm to you. Blessings
When expectation ends.”
You’re willing to be vulnerable and open about your fears. You’re a writer and filmmaker. You create art that you love and you’re a human about to finish sailing by yourself across the Pacific Ocean. An Octopus has nothing on any of that. And by the way, the poor little caterpillar is the one that does all the work . . . ? ?
You’re awesome! Inspirational! And we ( the girls and myself) can’t wait to read then discuss your thoughts about the adventure you’re on! I love the self reflection! You are morphing in front of us each day! Ha! Thoughts and more importantly our prayers are with you! God keep you!
I’d like you to consider that the feelings that you have the “all-mixed-upness” parallel the feelings that parents have about our kids. Colossal and lilliputian at exactly the same moment in time. A sense that it is boundless and frustration that makes you reach up your fists to the gods and say, “what happened to my kid?”
Your blog is pure poetry. Writing poetry — well writing in general is not easy to do in our news cycle driven world. You left because the treadmill got to you.
I often wonder why I care about the country? Why do I feel like my knowledge of the abuse of the constructs of the framework of our country even matters. Yet night after night, I listen to the dog being whipped, the yelps of logic being bailed out of the dingy as a gusher just keeps filling it up. You are on your voyage to attempt to find sanity, and now that you have it, as you say it is like moving an entire jigsaw puzzle with only your hands as tools.
Oh my gosh, I’m a little embarrassed, I didn’t mean to break into my own poetry (of sorts). This is your show . I’m just an interloper surfing on the same wave as you.
(this is a joke meant to be funny) Please don’t ever come back to land! If you do my morning poetry will cease and I will dry up like a cayenne pepper. Please stay out there forever so that I can dream of thoughts unbounded and neon emeralds.