Digging Water

The blessings of the four directions upon your soul. I annoint you with the four elements: soil, water, air, fire.

I went digging in the ocean, along the water, through the tide. In one belief system, my sign is water, and in another, air. The line between the two is often blurred, and more often, tenuous. Read the tension of that line between heaven and hell in the story of the great white whale. The sky heavenward; the mystery of cold dark hell below.

The evening was so still, and movement became stillness. Floating on glass, a little above, a little below. The air mingled with water and lifts mist into mystery. My paddle was a water shovel, and the blade slid right in as my shoulder engaged and moved forward. The stillness belied secret movement below, for nothing is without an undercurrent. No thought, no air, no water. There are only silent signals. The silence becomes loud, our breath predominates along drops of water. Flapping wings above, and voices carried over the glass, carried past the trees. The stillness can carry me forward or back, but does not remain still. The undercurrents remind me of breath – that movement is needed. Dip the paddle, sink the blade, pull forward, breathe deep.

Each stroke repeated feels strong,and soon I’m compelled to propel. Reach over, dip, pull, lift. It’s a strange satisfaction to pull through what was once air, and that air I breathe in to move forward, balancing side to side, gliding forward, sailing on.

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