I ask for knowledge from the deep. Not just the deep, but the depths where I can’t reach, of my time here, my so-called footprints, of which I have purposely left none, yet many silently remain. I want deep connections, under soil. Out of sight from the naked eye. Invisible communication.
An intergenerational mycelium network of dreams and experience, of stories that were forgotten to be told. Stories that may be of little importance to you, that one day may speak something, may call out some answer that’s been searching for me — for my son, for my sister. For the forgotten stories to be finished, to be heard through photographs and sewn together memories, with finely crafted holes like lace curtains, or the change left behind in the cracks of chairs after the owner is gone, small things like the smell of molasses or the smell of rum.
The way we used to talk and how people often share their depth, their deep when you least expect it, when you’re often too young to fully understand or appreciate. But it sticks to you, like that sweet molasses, like stains of grass to your summer legs. These are the depths I mean. I want this. I ask for more of this, please.
I don’t ask questions of deities, don’t clasp my hands or beg for forgiveness or mercy. I have a percentage of faith, I just can’t and don’t feel the need to name it. Some say atheist. I’m just not a hunter or gatherer of worship. It seems as though I learn exactly what I need, albeit often the hard way, but life has never been easy. It just doesn’t work that way. So I won’t ask for peace, or good health, because these things are by law of nature, only temporary. Life doesn’t work that way. Isn’t it beautiful and terrifying? Blissful and tragic? And somewhere between lies the magic itself.
When I ask for deep and depth I mean…remember that time when I was eight? Circa 1985? It was summer on the Cape. On the beach, after a raucous electric storm had woken me half the night. The sea called me that morning. It was gray and wet, an ominous, cold day.
I climbed over wet dunes with winds still humming through the seagrass and stepped onto the beach. The Atlantic had washed ashore treasure from the deep. From depths I could never dare to swim. Creatures I had only seen behind glass. The beautiful and the terrifying. Deep like this.
The price for release from the sea was death. Secret, beautiful death along the beach. It may have been the first time I realized what irony meant. So surreal, the happiness at getting to be so close with these creatures and knowing the violent death they must have died, drowning in thin air, too much oxygen.
I found a stick and walked over to a manta ray that had found its resting place near the base of the seawall. I half hoped it would be living so I could push it back to the sea. The stick broke under the weight of its fin-like wing. I wandered through pools of refugee jellyfish waiting for the tide to take them home, studying them with desperate fascination, picking up horseshoe crabs and sea stars, washed up, empty homes of shellfish. These were gifts or ghosts or messages from the deep. From the depths I could never reach.
This is the type of depth I seek.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.
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