>Sea of Consciousness


Why do we love the sea? Because we have absolutely no way of controlling it. Land we can build on, but unlike moutains – which even with great difficulty we can build on – the sea is wholly sublime.  The men who brace the ocean know that they have no chance of taming it – it’s always in flux. Land is sturdy, water is not. The sea life – living on the ocean, sailing, boating – is a reminder of ubi sunt. Always changing – you can’t build on it  – it will eat you, devour you, like it did the Titanic. The beginning of the 20th century was so proud. But after the war they realized their error, those late teen years make it clear.
As in adolesence, as in every century’s adolescence. I’ll live to see 2030 definitely. Will I see 2070? 2080? Do I want to live to see 2080? Meh. World’s just getting nicer – more gentrification, now health care, less poverty. Leaning towards socialism, when Indians are all rich and happy and bodies don’t float in the Ganges.
The sun sparkles on the diamondy water. Sailboats are like flags on the horizon. Muddled and in the vague distance, stray cumulus clouds hover in place. And the sun always fracturing into a hundred million gems, dissolving in the vast waste of distance.
Dayboats plough the ocean with jets of spray on their sides. I taste the salt on my lips.
Sea birds swoop. Barges truck. Faucets cry. Loose cirrus strands expand like a nebula.
Everywhere the sea does the same things, bobs and floats cresting; but nowhere is it the same. Like humanity. That’s why we love the sea: because it reminds us of us.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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