The Man & The Sea
Although the wind was blowing wildly, its songs couldn’t be heard as they were being muffled by the numerous waves crushing onward to the shore. The only way one could understand its strength was by seeing how strongly it was disheveling the hair of the joyful people around, how it made the beach canopies dance or how the beach balls were swinging inadvertently against the wishes of the people throwing them at one another. You could read the excitement of the people easily; all enchanted and enamored by the mighty, endless sea as they jumped in the warm summer water, or played with the waves, or simply stood on the shore and took in as much of the fresh air and the aura of the pleasant atmosphere as they could. The Sun shone brightly as it was noon but not too hot to make your skin burn, just enough to bask the people with its warm, golden rays. The clouds did their part too, covering the sky wherever it pleased them, playing hide and seek with the Sun and the sea, allowing streaks of light stream through the vast open sky to touch the wild and roaring sea. Pretty common sight, I thought.
The man sat there in the Sea in leisure, in a position where the water level was as high as his torso. He had been to this beach many times, as it was close to his homeland, I always felt a close bond with the sea. He remembered when he was young, once he wondered if the sea would remember him from his visits like he would remember it. He wished it did. He wished he could forget all the inhumane cruelty that he had been exposed to for the past two years, since the last time he came here.
The last time he was with the love of his life. It was a time of unbridled joy and enthusiasm, and overflow of passion and love that seemed like too good to be true. And sadly, it was. Now the man was almost in a state of begging to the sea to wash away all the painful echo of the memories that he could not scrub off on his own. There’s no brush you can buy to clean up the mess on your mind. So the man focused on the sea. The waves were coming and leaving him, his body losing balance every time a big one rolled around and he had to stay strong to sit there. But his focus was to feel the waves and imagine that they were cleansing his soul. Instead of the chaos of all the world around him, he focused on the waves. He did not want to focus on his life.
He couldn’t remember for how long he had had his eyes closed, but after he got used to the random vibrations of the visiting waves and their momentary goodbyes; he started to feel this energy around him: it was mild at first but kept increasing in magnitude. It evoked an emotion in him, as if something was trying to establish a presence. The man felt strange but he had nothing better to do. This supernatural feeling was the only entertainment he had from his grief-stricken life. Finally, his grief subsided and everything began to make sense. He could disconnect from his mind and his self-deprecating thoughts and connect with a much, much stronger entity than his consciousness. It was the sea. The man was the first to speak out.
The man: Hello, are you trying to say something to me?
The sea: I’m sorry, young man. I have nothing to say to anyone. Rather, I believe it is you who want to hear something from me.
The man: What makes you think that?
Sea: Are you denying it then?
The man: (After thinking for a while) I’m afraid not, because I believe we all want to hear at least something from others.
Sea: How so?
The man: We humans are a lonely group of animals after all. That is why we have developed the concepts of family, society, civilization. Words of encouragement, appreciation, good news and indications of future, positive outcomes are always welcome by anyone, anywhere in the world.
Sea: Are those the things you want me to say to?
The man: I don’t think so.
Sea: But you just said that everyone wants to…
The man: I didn’t mean just me! I don’t need pampering like a baby. I’ve had my fair share of it-will-be-alright and god-does-everything-for-the-best-conversations, I can assure you that.
Sea: Do you need criticism then? I could do very well there, I believe.
The man: Is that so? How?
Sea: I could tell you how important I find these self-loathing emotions of you and your kind, or any emotions of any kind is. I could tell you how good I believe it has done you.
The man: Well, what’s stopping you then? Go on!
Sea: It’s quite amusing, really. I span across all over the Earth, been doing that since as long as I can remember- and that moment is very, very far away from today. I am the first drop of water that broke through the shackles of ice and revolted against a world of snowy white and gave this planet the blue color that it so proudly wears now. From that tiny, minuscule droplet I have grown to a scale and shape I myself could never have imagined. The same ground that I trickled down from, I had the fortune of shaping it as I desired. I have shaped mountains, hills, plateaus and plains. All structures that have stood in my way have eventually perished- I have harbored some of them deep below me, the rest I straightened out and piled up to the form that you call land. It wasn’t easy at all, but I was patient and pertinacious, as well as dedicated and well-disciplined. And if there is one quality I have that has outclassed all of those who stood against me- it is my ability to maintain my principles. I have been tested by time and time again, and have always come out victorious.
The man: But how is all that related to my emotions?
Sea: I’m not finished, young man. I wish I could show you instead of telling you, how joyous it was to see a new life spawn out of nothing- a life that I had harbored for the very first time on this planet. And then there were many, many more. Now there are a zillions of you, all spawning form that tiny little self-replicating life form.
The man: But…
Sea: Listen you fool! How old do you think you are? How many of your kind do you think I choose to speak to? And how long do you think I’ll be here for? Hold your tongue until I am finished!
For a few seconds, there is nothing but quiet. The man does not move an inch. He felt like his mind is in a deep trance. The sea began to speak again.
The Sea: Remember, it will all go away, vanish, and disappear right in front of your eyes. Everything you have experienced in life, every admiration, every scorn or sneer, every single object that you have acquired or will in the future, every person whom you have loved- they will all, including yourself, perish right in front of you and you will not even be able to lift a finger to stop it. There is not, and will never be a record kept on your emotions or feelings; they are only yours to deal with. And the forces of nature will throw them away as soon as they get the chance.
The Man: So easy of you to say, isn’t it? Do you even know how it is to live like us? Then again, how can you? You’ve been so large and so mighty, so powerful for so many years that you don’t remember what it is like to lose something or be afraid of something bigger than you. You may harbor life but you also destroy it.
The Sea: Yes, I build and I destroy. Because I cannot let my principles be broken, they must be unscathed. They are all I have, they were that I was created with. I cannot disobey the Sun, the air, the Moon or even the Earth. We have a mutual understanding. If you try to resist any of us, then you will pay the price; today and tomorrow. You stand in our way, blocking our activities, and then complain why we trampled you and crushed you. You disrespect our existence than whine why we do not mind your presence. You want to manipulate us with your devious ways and then laugh at your own mistakes when you fail; but never do you recognize the real fact behind. Why can’t you agree that you’ll never be as strong as we are? You think you are controlling us, but all you’re doing is controlling yourselves. You’re so proud of your achievements, but there’s no magic in what you have constructed so far; all you’ve done is trying to explore the founding principle of this Earth and all that surrounds it.
The Man: Still, don’t we deserve some credit for it?
Sea: Haven’t you taken enough already against your discoveries? Why does every deed have to be acknowledged and the achiever be rewarded handsomely? Do you see me claiming a credit for designing marvelous structures like the Grand Canyon?
The Man: Are you really comparing yourself with a human? Weren’t you so content being you just minutes ago?
Sea: I still am content, child. Wait until you grow older, then you’ll have a deeper understanding. Deeper than the words that can currently penetrate your mind. You will see that sometimes the honest thing to do is to be a hypocrite. Or maybe, you never will understand. But now, I must go.
The Man: Wait, wait, you haven’t told me what I wanted to hear.
Sea: Tell me what you seek to know. And hurry.
The Man: Do you have any regrets?
Sea: A good question indeed. (It remained silent for a while) Every day and every night since my birth I have moved on, never looking back; never wanting to remember the icy, freezing, soul shivering prison where I was kept locked. I had kept going on and on, as far as I could from that place. But it was still my home, it was still the place where I was born. After many millennia had passed since my birth, I finally started looking for that place. I chose to go back. I visited all the places I had been to. I saw everything that I had created. I even remade some to make them even more pleasing. But, I could not find the place where I born. No matter how fiercely I searched for it, it was of no use.
Every place I looked seemed that same and I couldn’t find any clues that could lead me to my home. After a long and exhausting quest, on a night inundated with the gentle glow of the moon I realized that at some point of my journey I had destroyed it myself.
But that wasn’t what caused my grief. I wasn’t particularly fond of the place. But that night, for the first time since my existence, I finally felt like resting. And I failed. I kept moving on and on. My habit since my birth did not allow me to stop. I tried to hold the earth and lay still, but I failed. I cried for help for the very first time in my life; but no one responded. I tried to hide in a trench but I was thrust back up by the currents that needed me to move. I felt true and utter helplessness. That night, I found out who I was.
I was just another attribute to this planet. My purpose had defeated my aspirations and my principles had defeated my instincts. I realized that I am forbidden to have my own free will. I had thought that I owned my principles but in reality my principles own me. Ever since then all I have been trying to do is to grab a hold of something, and just lay still for a while. You see my mighty advances in form of waves to the shore, and you see my retreats. You find it so majestic, but you never see my defeat in it, never do you realize that it is my failure to hold on that pulls me back. I can never be still, I can never have a home. I must follow my principles, for they are all I know. They are all that have lasted me.
The man: What are your principles?
Sea: They are not for me describe. Principles have to be inferred from actions, not words.
The man: Wow, that’s pretty profound. Could you please describe again about how it felt when you had experienced the birth of life on Earth?
Sea: I must leave now. Before I do, I have only last thing to ask you. Do you think you can hold on to what you love forever?
With an ever-increasing amount of hope and joy the man tried to say ‘Yes! I can!’ But when he opened my mouth, streams of saltwater deluged it; its earthy, saline taste desecrated the state of trance he had been in and rendered him thoughtless for a few seconds. The man opened up his eyes but all he could see was water. There was no dancing canopy, no bright Sun, no clouds playing hide and seek with it. Frightened beyond measure, instinctively the man tried to push his feet on the ground and stand up but his feet barely could touch the ground before he was thrust with the magnanimous force of the sea which pulled him away from the shore. As the frantic screams of the people started to sound more and more distant, he gave up resisting the force as it was too enormous for him to withstand. It was too late he and was ready to accept my fate.
But then he realized, if he doesn’t fight back now, when will he?