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sea as metaphor

I chickened out on today’s swim. John seems unconcerned about being prey, but I was combative in my discomfort. First about the cold (it was warm), then the winter swell (minor slosh) and finally, the visibility. We made our way to the edge of the water and hopped in (John actually slipped and fell in ahead of me). Looking out at the hazy abyss of churning water, I clambered straight back out, but not before I took off my mask to direct my attention to the rocky shore instead of what I couldn’t see well beneath me (sometimes you don’t want to see whatever you imagine might be coming). So that was day 1 back in the ocean after the holidays of mostly eating snacks. This feeling parallels my relationship with god and life — excited, ambivalent and suspicious, while knowing better. Then approaching again, a little more confidently with some consistency, with a few steps forward, a few steps back, sometimes more of a shuffle on all fours, wet hair in the eyes, in panicked retreat. The ocean turned my discomfort into quiet awe. The swim turned into a walk and then we saw whales.

And so the startling ocean, like life and god, bears gifts (and hard won lessons), no matter how we meet it.

Everything is a coincidence / nothing is a coincidence. Your pick.


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