• Carla Lynn

The motion of the ocean

Like a half-full plastic bottle she floated on the ocean surface. She bobbed and tilted over the waves, not quite weightlessly, not quite violently either. She felt as though a piece of her chest cavity was being eaten away by termites as her anxiety was building in her passive position.

She didn't know where else to go or what to do, so she merely kept floating on the body board. Her husband was playing in the waves and every so often he would wave to her to make sure she was still okay. She waved back enthusiastically trying to prove that she was.

In actual fact, if she wasn't deathly scared of the ocean she would happily have kicked out to the deep until she was surrounded by nothing but blue. Maybe then she would have the clarity to think, to disappear or to do something. But on this dull grey day she would merely bob along in the shallows where her toes could still touch the sand, like a tether to the earth.

As a child she was as light as a feather, flying through the world in wide-eyed wonderment, soaring fearlessly through her small life. As a teenager she hungered for experiences, gathering and collecting memories as though they were objects to be put on display.

Looking back it seemed as though it was almost as if she burnt too bright, wanted too much. Today, at the tender age of 26 she felt empty, yet the weight of life dragged her down underneath the waves.

As she felt herself slipping bit by bit off the board below the cold surface of the water, her husband's head popped up beside her.

"Come catch a wave with me, I'll show you how," he said as he was already chasing the next swell.

She shuffled back on the board and attempted to surf along an oncoming wave. She didn't, instead she merely travelled with the bubbles for a few metres towards the shoreline. But she kept trying.

At least she was now moving with the ocean, a far cry away from being swallowed by it.

 

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Cape Town – Vancouver

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