leaving the rock
For the last few days, I've been wondering why I'm doing so much writing as of late, yet writing nothing of substance. My writing is a reflection of my mind, which should reflect my life. My mind finds nothing here worth reflecting.
I'm living in New York right now. I've traded vacant oceans for seas of people who are buried under whatever struggles they take on. I've traded solace for opportunity.
The ocean touching the beaches of San Diego used to make its way through the sands. The ocean feeds into streams of thought, which seem to go on forever... every inch unpredictable. I thought those streams would go with me wherever I went, but they're fed by different waters here. They're drying up, and I haven't the tears to refill them, I haven't even the strength.
I'd sit on a particular rocky cliff overlooking the waves crashing below. Day after day, I'd find a spot that was more secluded than the others. I'd be in long jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, but no shoes. My hands, feet, and face would burn under the shining sun, as I sat there asking God this question, "If you are, then what am I?" Even though the question was silent, I couldn't ask it unless I was truly alone; this was a question that was only to be shared with the waves, the rock, and the white splash of their meeting. If spectators were near, the question would have to wait until they left. I had the time to wait, for even as the sun vanished beneath the water, I would remain.
There are always spectators here. There is no seclusion or solace. My feet are draped by thick leather to protect them from the snow, and often my hands are covered the same. The sun is hidden by unnaturally tall structures, and the moon hasn't shined in months. I don't think I've seen anything that someone's hands haven't created, and haven't drowned in the question in ages.
This was a decade ago, and I can still feel the ocean's breeze. I'm just a little too cold as the sun's halfway buried, but endure to watch the sky dim, while the clouds above are painted in neon colors of pink and blue. I wonder why I'm sitting here, why I have nowhere better to be and nothing better to do. The stone is cold beneath my feet, but again, it's only a minor inconvenience.... it's just the stone reminding me of its presence; in a way, I'm thankful.
I never write when I sit on this rock. This is the one place where pen and paper aren't the primary focus... they're overpowered by the same waves that captivate me. Thoughts pour through me, but these thoughts are mine... and they're far too numerous to ever reach the page. Pages cannot contain this. Today, I'll ask the question that should have been asked all along, "If I am, then what are you?" And in saying these words in my mind, I finally have an answer to thousands of questions. Traded things are returned, and risk mingles with a sense of security.
I'm careful when rising to my feet. In places, the rock is jagged, and I've been sitting for so long that I'm not sure that my legs will hold me. I give myself a moment to test my balance before stepping closer toward the cliff's edge. Beneath me are protruding stones that are bare and deadly, but when the waves crash in, the water below is deep. In my lifetime, I've spent hundreds of hours trying to calculate the pattern that the waves hold to, but each one manages to surprise me. I'm standing right on the edge of the cliff, and if I were to jump, I'd be greeted below by rocks that would tear at me, or by water that would gently and safely carry me away in its arms; I haven't the mind to time my leap to cause one end over the other. I've never handed myself over to fate this way, but I've also never resigned to the fact that I am that which creates my fate, blind to it as I am. As my feet now trade the sense of cold stone for that of whipping air, I realize that I'm finally doing something in life that seems real; something of substance.