Sunday, July 8, 2018

Ocean Ipseity

Dear Underwater,

I spent enough time in the sea with a snorkel to breathe through, that I began to feel fearful about my foreignness there.  I began to feel too far submerged in this other life.  Too close to forgetting my terrestrial origins, I might try to breathe the tiny bubbles of the sea water.  The enchantment of it threatened to annihilate my ordinary world. 
The motion of the water had subsumed my sense of self, and I felt the thinness of the membrane between ourselves and everything else.  The feeling of oneness is dizzying and scary, because when you are a part of everything, individuality has no meaning, you may come or you may go; it matters not to the world of land or sea.

I had to return to the dry, unmoving, beige, and bland, sand.

At the concert hall, I love to sit in the high, steep, cheap seats.  There is a walkway along the lowest row of highest seats, along the curve of the balcony.  It has a low rail, and I am compelled to bend down to grip it, because I don't trust my self not to throw myself over.  Not an accident, but a kind of instantaneous craziness, a confusion between up and down, and a wild, destructive impulse that exists almost outside of my mind.

Under the water I heard the clicks and taps of urchins moving their spines, and the scraping sound of parrotfish crunching the coral.*  The way light was diffused by wavelets was shimmering and all encompassing.  The space under the surface was a beautiful and complete world.  I was sorry to leave it.

*Listen for yourselves, and learn a little more about it here.