lament

To Nothing

Escaping to nothing. Floating in the blackness of the ocean. The pitch wet pricked under the back of her hair. Rushing chills from her neck, down the skin, inside her spine, scraping the icicles over each and every vertebrae. In an unknown empty where she couldn’t see what was coming, swimming, under the slicked oil surface. 

Allowing the terror to slice her heart. For just a second. But all the way through. Unconscious moral obligation to briefly experience the panic that she would absolutely have to ignore, eventually. In a moment. But right now, she had to choke down the deep metal-flavored pain.

But in the middle of the abyss, you can’t stop. To think. About stopping. Because it might just happen. And if you stop, here, then you become what surrounds. Frozen liquid absence. Like everything else. 

She didn’t think this thought, but her instincts knew. Floating will drown. Stay still and die. The sharks and the fishes, only barley move their tails. But they keep moving, even unto nothing. And that is the way, even unto nothing,

Was it really nothing. A something that never crossed her mind. Because it was unknown survival. She was not broken beyond self-preservation. Sabotaging her own life. Her own path. Even though she had no answers, about where it was going. There were others who did this all the time, all the way. She knew. Who they were. What they did. To themselves, But this was not even a flitter of an idea in her cognitive reality. It was just what her eyes could see. At this unthoughtful moment. Only the midnight ocean. 

What is it about something dark and unforeseen that intrigues the one searching for answers. The shaded, the unclear, the more answers it may contain. Vast unknown may be greater,  but at the same time so unsatisfactory, how do you know it’s the truth. Prickling spine to wonder if you have found it. Adventure to wonder if you could possible find it. In the future. 

But she feels a current of warmth. Her hand passes through the illusion of sand. Or is it real sand. Imagining, there is land, she’s feeling a shore. Shallow and grainy reflecting the sun. Where she could relax. Where she might lay. Quiet and safe. Not moving, for a moment in time. No fear of drowning. On that shore. Not searching. Not wondering. Not fearing. Quiet. Safe. Protected. Befriended. By the sun. 

But she can’t let herself go, too far. Searching for sand. It may be her imagination more than anything else. Hopes and dreams of a naive little girl. Manifesting in the black ocean. The stories and dreams that belong on the shore. If only. There is a shore.

While hope is her fuel, it is also her drug. The one that may kill her. The one that may heal. Either way, the dream is addictive. And once she tastes the salty fresh hope, it won’t leave her veins. Pulsing against the light that stings her eyes, fighting the urge to drift into comfort. What if. She can’t avoid its residual hangover with every new breath. As she swims, as she moves. Across the midnight black. Where she shouldn’t keep breathing, but then, she does. 

Drawing air from above. Rivers internal rushing over in colors. That she cannot see. Gold and verdant leaf entwine under the eyelashes. In the sensations. That nerve-ends pretend. All the while, goosebumps tighten. Yet she can’t feel, her skin, repelling the frigid ocean.

What does it feel like. To hope. Intangible pictures and visions make more sense than what is seen. Even if she has never seen it. Even if she has never touched it. The reality she touches isn’t real anymore. At least not as real as the way in which she has understood the world to be. Her arm presses the salty water against and forwards and back and beyond. But it stings like sunshine. 

She saw the hovering horizon, a different layer of colors under the shadow of the setting sun. And this is what she knew, inside, that she need to swim towards. No matter what her seizin muscles said, her blood just knew she had to swim. This was the hope of warm and sun and rest. That she couldn’t unsee. Hope sticks deep, but it can fade. When you feel the cold. When the cold overtakes. When they tell you. The only thing that is real is what you can touch. When they tell you. There is nothing really out there. When they tell you. All of that, is too good to be true. 

How do you feel faith in the ocean of black. It has to see color. When there is an absence. It has to feel warmth. When the water smothers. It has to yearn for a destination. When there is nothing in sight. 

Before long, if it’s been too long, the darkness overcomes. If the hope isn’t bold enough. She returns. To the morally obligated awareness of chaos. Feeling the cold. Submitting to the crippling conclusion. Eating, the death. Tasting the dark. Swallowing, what she didn’t want. To swallow. But, it eventually it will always turn into, whatever. 

Where faith drowns. And all you can do is feel. What surrounds. Dangerous to only feel. What surrounds. Because the waves will overwhelm. The blackness will define. The visions and dreams will fade. Into disbelief. And the pressure that once moved you forward, now devours from the inside out. How quickly, though will that happen. How many minutes. Do you have. In the warmth of

Hope.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. (John 1:9-11)

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