At Sea

Date: Summer Solstice 1993

Location: Somewhere mid-Pacific Between the Galapagos Islands and the Marquesas

Ι

Fortunate is the one at sea, powerless—or nearly so.

Alone is good, but two is better . . .

someone like you

who is not afraid

to feel small.

* * *

In the tight grip of something greater, in the closed fist of the shrinking universe,
in the thrall of an expanding one

. . . in the depths of the first night . . .

with the faint breaths of dolphins—sky voyagers, like you—
blowing vapor toward the heavens . . .
and the green-glowing plankton paving the way back to the point of origin
. . . and the faint glitter of reflected stars on water all around
. . . and a cosmos erupting from within.

***

This is your Houdini water escape, your calling card,
your one true moment
to be known
by.
The time you disappeared at sea . . . and returned as someone else.

II

And so you find yourself
. . . far from the safety of shore . . .
where the sea and sky merge into one,
and your tiny ship sails toward empty space,
and you sever the last thread of connective tissue with the past
—family, friends, and solid ground beneath your feet—
all gone.
You are weightless in the multiverse, floating, drifting, spinning
among only memories
. . . suddenly confronted with the truth that you have
but one original memory
from which the rest proceed,
the memory you can sense but never see.

***

This voyage, this making and re-making of you, requires a fundamental honesty.

***

This is not fiction; this is life.

* * *

Your New World, your adventure, your landfall will be this:
Reconfigure the puzzle of the past so that the only one who recognizes it is you.

III

We are all born again. Each day brings the chance to renew, to change,
not just subtly, but radically—
to violently
transform,
like a meteor in its final seconds,
hurtling rock becoming light.
For this, we go to sea, surf the primordial ebb, where will and intention are relinquished, where memory sinks beyond reach of the sun.
Disorientation is the first step toward reconstruction,
letting go is the first step to
latching onto truth.

* * *

Your origin and destination are like lovers on a see-saw
one rises as the other falls.
Not until you’ve forgotten your point of departure will your next landfall rise into view
—a place to plant your bare feet in soft sand
and lay claim to a new self,
to sense with every cell in your body,
to know what it means
. . . to be alive.

IV
To be at sea.

V

“That was a lot, a lot, a lot of wind, mon. There was a long time since I see so much wind . . .  agh . . . It is a complete disaster on the boat, it’s not called a mess this time, it’s a disaster. But it’s okay. We’ll fix up one more time. I got some more sewing to do one more time, and we go back at sea . . .”

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