Gazing at the Whale

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Gazing at the Whale

Chris Haagen

The ocean goes on farther than comprehension. In a world of limits, it is the contradiction. While it is appears constant and so much the same, the eyes cannot help but gaze at it, feeling a pull towards it. I feel so natural submitting to the pull, I feel a calm staring at the leviathan in front of me. Every morning it comes in, swallows up the beach, and drifts away in the afternoon. The waves will always break fifteen feet from the shore, and the tide will come circling around my toes. The ground will become wet, my feet will sink in, wet sand engulfing them. Each time and every time. The sky today is the blue that fades into the ocean's horizon, blurry any distinction. I love the ocean. I love the moment, looking at the ocean, feeling the cold water splash against my naked skin. The moment is complete in as much as any moment can be completed. This place is where I want to be, this sight is what I want to see.
I used to view the ocean with fear. I would look upon it as that which could tear me away, bringing me out into a new world that was unsafe and would probably kill me. I stood away from the ocean, safely on the beach with my concerns focused on my sand castles. I wanted to construct something powerful, something that would last to the next day. My enemy, other than an older brother who might stomp it out, was ocean whose high-tide would most certainly be too much. Walls got higher, moats got deeper, but each and every time, the surf would humble the bulwarks and fill the deeps. Each morning the castles was nothing more than a dent in sand, barely a fingerprint. After many attempts to withstand an ocean, I choose instead to move farther back, building castles closer to the dunes, farther from the ocean. It was safer to put it farther away, it was able to last.
Going to the beach is not staying in the dunes. The majesty, the force pulling us is the ocean. The books we read there, the day-trips we go on are not what draw us. There is a pull that makes no sense when we trying to explain it, we are unable to push our passion through the crude translation of language.
The ocean is not a swimming hole, not a fishing pond. Our attempts to make sense of all of its capabilities still do not explain its allure. There are swimming pools all around. There are place to fish that are a minutes drive, not several hours. My relationship is much more removed much more distant. I come to sit and watch. What is the purpose? It is not a calm I am looking for, as calm can be found in many songs, many soft afternoons. I am not calmed by the leviathan in front of me. I am perplexed, but only perplexed in the naturalness of the moment. Even in coming for just a week, I feel as though the years before were just a boarder around the sacred truth of the current moment.
I want to understand this moment, because sitting here is awe is no ground to build from. I do not want to be the gazer upon those who gaze, but the one who experiences the truth. How can we be so close to what is so right, and allow it to wash away? I want the water to come over and anoint me, be the bright epiphany that destroys the old and creates the definite and certain new. I do not care for words of rebirth or virginity in this moment. I care for only what the ocean whispers in its splashes against the surf and banter with the sky.
I can not decide if the years before I have waited were a waste, or all building towards this moment. Could a younger man had seen and heard the call of these waves, or am I too expired to live a life speaking in this language? Am I too ripe, or too expired?
Words lose their meaning when they are stripped down through repeating them over and over, and reveal certain honesty. An H is just a breath of air, but in the breath we attribute so much meaning. The more we repeat, the more peculiar, the more disenchanted we are with the reliance on the illusion. What are we that care so much for silent breaths?
When you stare at the ocean for long enough, the waves do disappear. The broken shingled surface becomes a flat stage, a solid platform that the mind can walk on and dance over. The new form it takes is more real, more natural than one could ever expect. It is not an illusion that has gained authority arbitrarily, but it is the apriori to which we should build ourselves entirely upon. This is not a limited existence, or fading delusions, but real full growth and recreation in every waking moment. But what does all of this mean? I can walk into it, but am I any closer? I know that it is something; I know it exists, but I can find no way to penetrate it more than a doting gaze. I cannot be happy with my reliance on a gaze. I don't even understand my gaze! The distance is immense.
I know the force exists, I know there is a pull, but which way am I being pulled? The tide would take me out, pull me down to the bottom, but the desire to live takes me back to shore. The only place I can stand comfortably is in the surf, equally distant from land and sea.
The sun breaks through the clouds and I am overcome. The sky now has a beauty incomparable to any other. The sky's pupil looks down on me. I know not how to respond, I know not what it is saying. My stance is faith, faith being the only rock I can stand on. The brightness of the beauty is inspiring, but overwhelming as I know not what to do with the presence. What do you inspire me to do? Nothing these eyes have seen, hands have touched hold a resemblance to the kingdom I am among . All the battles of light and darkness are being fought above me, and all that is good is revealing in its victory. Am I a part of the victory, or am I that which is being defeated?
All this joy tries to rush through shrunken pupils and an over perceiving mind only to find it is too full. The messiah has come to find there is no room for him here, and I must order him to lie in the manger . I am not ready for what he has to say, I am not ready for what he can show me. His visions fall on eyes that see them as God's foot upon the treadle of the loom . In my state of drowning, I allow myself to sink, to stop treading water and am taken by the waves, floating on the surface.
I know I see a truth, and in the language of the mind it all makes sense. But like all ideas of truth, the path from thought to speech strips away all the poetry draining too much blood from the idea. It cannot exist outside the body. I know what I have discovered is truth; I know that in the space between the Sun and the Sea I exist in a plane the recreates time and space. But in this sacred space, I know that I will have to leave. The shore calls me back. When I leave, nothing will exist as it had, as the attempt to speak or remember to myself will kill the experience in the form it had existed. In the moment everything danced together, so happily, so purely, frolicking in a way only that which understands its own impending expiration. The fading light becomes brighter by the darkness it creates.
Dreams are formed not by dreaming alone, but how we decided to remember them. Our memory of the dream makes sense in the context of the dream, but when we wake and try to communicate them, our language is unable to explain them in the form thy originally existed. They are either full of holes or too illogical. Instead we fabricate a combination of the dream and the awake one's interpretation. Authenticity is destroyed by a need for control.
I left the moment not because I did not like what I saw, but because I had no way of existing in the moment. I live in a world of sharing, and unfortunately the world I found was destroyed by an attempt to bring it to the world I know. The moment is now just a finger print, much like the washed away sand castles. The washing away does not cause me not to want to try again and be content to go back to the dunes, but to go back and try to hear the words spoken in tongues. Whatever existed in the place was exciting and real. I want it not like I desire for a lover, not like I desire for a greater image of myself. I desire it for what it was and what it will become. I desire the entity unto itself. Its power reintroduced me to the performance of my thought and cornucopia of possibility. The wonderful thing about this world is the very fact of how many things can be wonderful about it. In the meantime, I will continue to sit and watch the ocean, as it comes in, and drifts away.

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