The Eyes of the Ocean
The sea has summoned its creatures and presented them before me in the pool of life that sits at my feet. I once looked into the depths of these holes and saw the heart of the ocean- a direct line to life underwater. Now, I struggle to find vitality in the slow motion picture playing out before me. Where I once saw a beautiful array of colour; I now see a dull palette of somber accents. Where I once envisioned freedom; I now only see the limits. Like the motionless oysters latched to the side of the rocky pool, I am trapped. I am bound to this island like the creature stranded in the hole, alienated, diluted by the icy water.
I have never known a life where my mother was not sick. My introduction to these pools was a result of my mother believing she had to compensate for the childhood she knew I had lost to her disease. Every weekend we made the drive from our home down to the shore; for me, it was like we had entered an alternate universe. The trees were dancing wisps of green, like a messy pastel drawing. The road unwound itself before us, like a tangled knot. The sea peaked through the foliage, like a flashing light in a dark room. This journey offered solace.
I picture the earth as a second maternal figure; filled with warm, nurturing tones that embrace me the moment we connect. The tidal pools once offered protection from the harshness of my realities, and when I saw others adoring them as well, a a cold jealousy spread throughout me. My lack of childhood friends was forgotten, for the only companionship I yearned for lived within the mysterious depths of the tidal pools. Now I struggle to feel anything.
I knew that one day my mother would die. She would not be old or a grandmother or a part of a seniors book club. She would be young and youthful, yet worn and weak with brittle bones and gleaming eyes. I became desensitized to the thought of her death and my fear attached itself onto what I would become after she left. Growing up, I formed a habit of excusing myself from society as a result of my mother being sick; I avoided slumber parties, dodged school dances, evaded awkward movie dates and escaped the pressure of college. I feared the day she would leave me alone with myself.
Only now, that time has come. She is gone. I am alone.
My mother is dead, and I have no where to go but the shore. My loneliness is accompanied by uncertainty, creating feelings detrimental to the sanity in my mind. I must now make the journey alone. Without my mother or her disease to cowardly hide behind, my directionless path is no longer justified. I could stay; although, how could I break my addiction to cowardice when I am drowning in the excuses of my previous life, in the depths of the tidal pools?
For hours I have been standing here here. Standing before the tidal pool- calloused by the friction of reality- I am left vulnerable and tender to the spite of these new emotions. Wallowing in the disappointment of the newly rediscovered pools,I have become oblivious. A frantic wind is blowing. The tide has come in .
A knee deep wave of freezing water sloshes over my rain boots, impairing my balance and tossing me into the frothy tide. Only when I fall, I do not connect with the earth and experience its warm embrace, I fall through it.
Under the surface of the thundering waves brought in from sea it is eerily dark, yet unexplainably peaceful. I do not feel panic, only the burning sensation of the frigid water on my bare skin. Here, underneath the waves, I see the beauty of the tidal pools with a youthful eye; I feel the earth hugging me in, building itself around me.
I do not thrash. I do not fight. Instead I burry deeper into the bosom of the sea.
The poem “The Stricken Children”, speaks to the concept of revisiting childhood memories only to see them in ruins. The alterations individual’s see are often reflections on themselves and how they have changed since they last visited these sites/ memories. Instinctively, humans look for an external cause to lay a source of blame, like the next generation the speaker finds littering by the well, although often forget to turn inward and look for cause there. These sites might also be used as a direct line to who an individual was before they changed themselves, a way to connect with the past.