22 May 2011

the edge

Being at the beach should be one of the simple pleasures in life. The best sort of beach has shelving sand dropping steeply into the sea, the waves rush up and tug at your ankles as you try to walk along. Standing still in the swirl of the sand and water results in your feet being buried up to your ankles, deeper each time the surf surges in. The icing on the cake is the rocky outcrops that make the perfect beach, so that the waves crash and send pearled and diamonded droplets into the sky. Spume. And over and over the waves come, in a rhythmn that never gets boring.

The joy of being on the edge, between the elements of earth and water, land and sea is what makes it more complex. I am most at home in the limbo between them, on the beach when the waves crash. Some people are happy at the centre of things, I am an edge person, happier looking in and observing.

The land is a mass where humans live, millions and millions of them, whom I will never know. The humans I meet, talk to, write to, watch on the telly or in films, they belong to this mass. I do not know them, in a Venn diagram of all that we have in common, the two circles barely kiss. I do not feel encompassed by them, I feel a thing apart, I prefer to watch them and carefully pick my interactions.

I feel drawn to the water and its vastness and energy and seeming emptiness (ignoring the scientist part of me that knows the biomass of the oceans is greater than that of the land). I feel drawn to it, I would like to wade into it's depths and swim out away from the shore, I would like to be that bold and adventurous, but I am not. If I stay here long enough, thinking, watching, reflecting, perhaps I will get the strength?

The beach is where land and sea come to interact, where sociability flirts with the empty wet horizon. An edge person needs the land, the mass, as well as the waters that move to their own tides. And so I come to the beach, not such a simple pleasure.

originally inspired by a T10 prompt 3rd June 2010, revised for >language>place blog carnival edition #6 on 21st May 2011 after the world did not end again.
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