Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Halfway Submerged

I am submerged to my belly in the clear blue water of a tropical sea. The water is warm, ever inviting, yet cool enough to offer refreshment from the humid air. Further out to sea, close to the horizon, the ocean is an angry, tumultuous black. The sun is absent, and the blue sky above is nearly covered in patches of bubbling gray and white clouds which are outlined in a deeper shade of black. The stillness of a tropical storm about to break is all around, pervading every sense and enveloping my skin and being with its presence. The air is still, sticky, sweet…and I stand, half in water, half in air, waiting in stillness as the looming presence of a greater force draws closer.
Below my feet is a watery floor made of countless rocks. Their culmination is a bed of speckled colors that move in an endless kaleidoscopic rearrangement within the continuous churning of eternal waves. There are small rocks mixed with others that are four times their size. At first glance, most are ordinary in shape and color, but on closer scrutiny, I see the variance in their details.
I see coral colored oval shaped rocks with black swirls, large circular stones with streaks of orange running through them. Small white ones with musical notes painted across the surface. There is a large grayish blue stone that has a small rectangular patch colored in the cubist designs of a Picasso painting. I stand, only a little ways from the shore which is made only of yellow sand. There, there are white plastic chairs that nearly cover the beach, some chairs are decorated with the red and yellow motif of the local beer. Tourists move like shadowed ants in the covered cafes that line the beach. They sip cold sodas and warm beer, they snack on chips and fried fish. There are old ladies that sit in the chairs closest to the sea, they rest with thick legs spread wide beneath their long skirts, watching the waves, quite content to sit silently and watch the stirring ocean.
Halfway submerged in water, I stand atop the rocks. The waves pull the stones up from their resting place and push them ferociously past my thighs and legs. After a short break of stillness, after all the stones have settled into their new place, another wave breaks ashore, pulling the stones out to sea again. After a short moment of newfound stillness, a wave pushes another batch of rocks past me towards the sand. I feel the pressure of their form as they brush past, but I feel neither pleasure or pain, just the simple weight of them as they tumble across my skin.

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