The Ocean Knows Me More Than I Do

The ocean knows me more than I do.

Scene: Rocky pacific coast, clouding and tide closing in. Overcast and ready to rain thoughts. Perched on a cliff alone and watching life happen.


Thick North Carolinan accent: “Ryan. I stepped in the water by accident.”

“That was foolish.”

“Tide’s moving in, Ryan.”


“Can’t go any further than this. You’ll fall and hurt yourself. I’m headed back.”

Water fills all the spaces.

This is no wasted space, there is no rock in the wrong place or in the way.

“Yeah Annie. I stepped in the water.”

“I saw that. I logged it in my journal.”

“You don’t need to be writing in that book. It’s a real book. It’s got feelings,” North Carolina comments on my taking notes in an old copy of The House of Mirth.

Smell of the sea: full and touchy. Full enough it soothes you, touchy enough it sets you on edge, wanting more.

“Ouch, Dre. That shit hurts. You’re barefoot.”

Saltwater sings. Stings. Seems.

“Alex, you gotta see this. Ooohh a fish!”

Cliff seat. Observe life.

Ocean and humans and whole inseparability of life.

“Annie. You shouldn’t be writing about nature. You should be exploring nature. Guess what. I recorded 34 seconds of nature! I’ll show you when we get back to Sacramento.” North Carolina.

Authorities moving in.

“He’s good now. But it’ll come in pretty quick.”

“Tide coming up!”


“Tide coming up!”


Whales are three o’clock on the horizon. Headed from Baja to Alaska.

Clear infinity. See the future in the water.

Two spiky purple sea urchins standing among black and brown minnows just trying to blend into the rocks.

Mistake the rocks for a tidal wave, until an actual wave smashes against it and creates choas beauty.

Tsunami alarm test this morning sounds like a tornado warning.

I want to be as strong and flexible as the ocean. Knowing my cycle and direction, never deviating or hesitating in the face of my future, my present, my life.

Crashing around the rocks, around the cliffs. Not through the cliffs, or or stopped by them. Coexisting and growing with them. Becoming something new with their presence that corresponds to exactly who I, the water already am. And am becoming.

Over time.

The rocks are grooved to my pattern, and I am adapted to their steadfastness. I doesn’t matter what came first. We all did.

Tide breathes in and out like a human being. Like a bird. Like a fish.

Like a butterfly, as the Cuban man told me. Waiting until it’s strong enough and fully one thing, to become another.

The self and the universe.

Slow motion power. Firework waves on cliffs. Life in a moment, changed in a moment.

Black seabirds the only blemish in the blue sky, blue water.

Peaceful chaos.

“I know it sounds crazy. But when you’re out there long enough, it begins to feel like the ocean is trying to talk to you.”

Writing while I’m talking to him.

He doesn’t seem to mind.

He’s telling me to feel the water, as I feel my fingers writing the water down.

All the movements of water.

Are they individual choices, or are they one big orchestrated event: inseparable and together.

Tiny ripples in the tide pools

Microcosms of the big wide crashing waves out there.

Calm on the horizon. Always be calm on the horizon.

Warm rock, cold air.

Stop mid walk to finish writing, leaning against the cliffs, two feet and my back keeping balance.

Look up and see a jungle gym of people above me on the cliffs. All being peaceful and amazed. Like children.

Experience presence and progress.

Magic in the moment thorugh being and writing.

Simulataneously: my life

“I feel like we’re dating.”

We’re not.

Crabs really do walk sideways.

“Annie loves new people. She loves to meet them.”

The ocean knows me more than I do.

Knock on the window home and let the world know you’re ready.


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