In a season like Ocean, it’s hard to tell whether you are moving forward or backward or in circles all around. This torment of not knowing gnaws at any healing being done in me and I fear these orange flowers will wilt and disappear. But every day, Aneta teaches me how to look at the sky and admire the water without looking ahead to what I cannot control. She shows me how to soak in every sunrise and sunset. She says to enjoy what is right here and expectantly wait for more goodness to come. She says the Light-Maker sees us here and creates all sorts of glorious displays just for us.
When I asked Aneta how long she had been drifting on Ocean, her voice came out jagged and sharp, “I’ve not been drifting, Maryn. I’ve been living.”
Living not drifting.
What was the difference? I could barely understand her answer then, but I’m starting to see now, because Aneta keeps showing me the difference.
Sunset bursts through the sky and glistens on the water. It has felt like minutes, but we’ve been floating in this unlikely place named Peace for hours.
Before I can drink in the colors I could never describe or verbalize, waves boil to the surface throwing me from Peace. These are not the soft waves of the shore. . .these waves feel like grief. I’m swallowed up. These waves are grief. Unwarranted. Brusque. Relentless.
The waves throw me around, and in the tossing I see Aneta still admiring the sunset on Peace. These waves were meant for me. Meant to swallow me. A part of Ocean for me alone.
Like water swirling to a drain, I’m spinning through the places I’ve been and the places I never hoped to be.
Pain masquerading as water stings my skin and pulls me under. I am forced to a depth of Ocean that causes me to grieve. The grief is so layered, so intimate that not even I can fully describe the heartache of it.
I stare at Aneta. I try to speak. But I haven’t used my non screaming voice for days now. Aneta is patient and happy and unassuming. She just floats next to me. I attempt to coax my vocal cords into single syllable words. I can’t remember how to form a sentence, even though I readily know how to scream. I drift there quietly–silently convincing myself to talk, to trust. Words finally escape between labored breaths, “I am Maryn. Just Maryn.”
She grins and replies immediately, “Hi, Just Maryn.”
Before an awkward silence can fill our ears, she launches into nonstop chatter.
“Well, Maryn. It’s so good to meet you. I’ve been floating here just beyond your Island for awhile now. Well, it feels like forever. I saw the storm over there and could see your shadow. Well, at least I think it must be your shadow. And anyhow, you were so brave to walk to the end of your shore and embrace the great wide open. Well, I’m sure you felt like you were plummeting. I felt that way too. Ocean took awhile to get used to, but well, Ocean is turning out to be a beautiful kind of place. It’s the only place I can safely be. My Island wasn’t safe, and well, that’s along story.”
Her words are tumbling out faster than I can keep up and I never knew anyone who could say, “well” so often and between so few words. Either she really is joyful about this Ocean-place or she’s out of her mind. It could be either one. I’m not convinced of anything yet. My thoughts are interrupted by, Read more
Her raspy voice pleads with me as she points her finger to my heart and waves her hand as if to shoo me away. Every word is bitter to my ears.
“Go to the ocean. Go to the ocean.”
“Into the ocean. Into the ocean.”
And I know what Old Maryn is asking of me.
To walk into the waves and lower my whole body into the water. To walk until I cannot touch the ocean floor. To go where I do not want to go. To be where my flower dress falls apart. To exist where I have never wanted to exist. To turn away from the Island I have made. Read more