As the waves lick the back of our necks, we let ourselves, just for a moment, be suspended in a big briny cradle. You and I are pulled down and popped back up by the sea and I marvel at your tricks, at my buoyancy.
"Look Mama, that wave pushed me right over."
"I saw that."
"Watch out, here's a big one."
"Oh no, that wasn't a big one, here comes another one."
As the waves lap around our heads, I silently plead with you, "I am here. I am right here. I am paying attention. Please forgive me for all the future times I'll be distracted. I am right here."
The lifeguard is still at the beach one more day, the bathing suits are on the line waiting for another round. The Christmas wishbook is waiting to be picked up. It's a book full of suggestions of wishes.
I want to issue a new wish book for finding out your wishes...those wishes that are deep inside you, waiting for you to realize them.
I have been going to the same beach since I was a baby. Since I could hold my own in the water and had the ability to dive under the surface, I have made it a habit, each and every time that I swim there, to orient my body towards the same point of land off in the distance and dive down, down and back up again. I emerge again blinking back the salt water and use that point as a compass needle. For just a moment, it is just me and the ocean and those rocks.
I have never actually physically stood on that point of land. It can only be seen from land or from the water. But each year since I was a child, I have dived into the water towards that point. Like blowing out candles on a cake, I renew my promises to myself and direct my whole self towards this jut of trees and rocks. Each dive under the water, connects me back to the 12, 16, 22 year old and the me I am now. I am , among other things, a delicate balance between salt and water, I plunge down into the cold depth and come up for air.
"I think the brain is afraid of being in a state of constant wonder […] I think we should reinstate wonder, banish expectations." - Rectify I have been watching the show Rectify on Netflix this summer. It is about a man named Daniel who was put into prison (on death row) at the age of 18 for the death and rape of his girlfriend. It's not really a who-done-it, although there are elements of that. Instead, the show is more focused on the inner and outer lives (and where the lines gets blurry in between) of people going through something unimaginable. Twenty years later, DNA brings doubt to his guilt (despite a guilty plea, which may or may not have been coerced). He is released into the world of his loving and supportive family, which seems great, except after years of being warped by solitary confinement, it is not as straight forward as it sounds.
The show depicts the first couple of weeks of freedom. A word which I have italicised because the meaning of true freedom is an ongoing theme throughout the show. The show does not reveal if he is truly guilty or not, it keeps that question unanswered and proceeds to ask a set of other equally important questions. What does freedom mean? Many of the characters are trapped in narrow lives and although they have not physically lived in a jail, they have not lived full lives (have any of us?) either, especially since for many of them, they have been singularly consumed with freeing Daniel. Daniel's freedom is also cast into question. The conditions that he has lived under on death row, often in solitary confinement, have significantly changed his demeanour, his speech pattern, his grip on reality and he is re-entering the world as an adult, that he last occupied as a teenager, all of which have left indelible marks. In one moving scene, Daniel is played music to by the prison chaplain the first time in a very long time in solitary confinement, and it becomes all too clear the depth of his deprivation. It also asks about our ability or inability to behold wonder. Daniel's reaction to even the simplest things like a grocery store, an inflatable man in front of a store and cell phones, made me take stock of how much my brain has become accustomed to everyday objects and has almost ceased to see things for the first time. As a result, my expectations of what I think I see and know threaten to crush me at times. I urge you to watch it. It is beautifully filmed and the story is told from surprising angles from which I had not thought to look before. After watching one of the most recent episodes, I had very vivid dreams of drippy cherry blossoms mingled with dark black tornado clouds. The cinematography tapped right down into my psyche somehow. It's not everyday that that happens.
Right now, in this season, everything we eat is either turgid with water or slipping down under the leaves and rotting into the ground. The moisture fills in every vein of kale and rounds out each blood-fillled beet with water logged vitamins, .
We must put what comes off the stems right into our mouths or can it or freeze it, or share it if we hope to capitalize on all this pent up moisture and energy because water evaporates baby and every other creature is living more fully right now positioning themselves to take advantage of our waste.
Eat those peas and carrots now while they crunch.
Crunchiness comes at a greater cost later on.