Any fool can get into an ocean… by Jack Spicer
Any fool can get into an oceanBut it takes a GoddessTo get out of one.What’s true of oceans is true, of course,Of labyrinths and poems. When you start swimmingThrough riptide of rhythms and the metaphor’s seaweedYou need to be a good swimmer or a born GoddessTo get back out of themLook at the sea otters bobbing wildlyOut in the middle of the poemThey look so eager and peaceful playing out there where thewater hardly movesYou might get out through all the waves and rocksInto the middle of the poem to touch themBut when you’ve tried the blessed water longEnough to want to start backwardThat’s when the fun startsUnless you’re a poet or an otter or something supernaturalYou’ll drown, dear. You’ll drownAny Greek can get you into a labyrinthBut it takes a hero to get out of oneWhat’s true of labyrinths is true of courseOf love and memory. When you start remembering.
Source: Poetry (July/August 2008).
Every time I feel stressed or lost or listless, I find myself being drawn to the ocean. Most of the time, I don’t get in the water, I just stand at the shore or find a place among the rocks. There I stare out into the horizon, sometimes its as if I’m searching for something– an answer, a sign, a connection. I don’t even speak, I don’t even move, I just listen. I may stay for a few seconds or even an hour or so. At times, I do get that answer/sign/connection. Other times, I don’t and that’s okay. Its almost as if I’m checking in. And when I drive to my next destination, I find myself rolling down the window and cruising down the road in silence.
I can’t explain why I have an affinity for being at the seashore, but I do know that it leaves me centered. When I lived in the Midwest, I felt cut off and displaced. That, too, I couldn’t explain.
But I do know that, when the stresses of the world envelope me, sooner or later, I’m at the seashore again, not speaking, not moving, but listening. And that’s still alright with me.