Searching for the Self: Somewhere

The beach. Where water meets earth. It is damp, flat, open here. There are steep, grassy cliffs leading back up to civilization. I think I’m supposed to feel something in this place: happiness, excitement, or humbleness towards our great planet. I think creativity is supposed to bloom here, born of a new found appreciation of the small things and just being. Of smelling the ocean air, of feeling the sand between my toes. But the truth is, I don’t feel any of that. Instead of beauty I think of soliloquies, Stephen Dedalus and sulking. I feel uncomfortable; my mind awash with greyness and a longing to be Somewhere Else.

I look along the coast to the bustling amusement arcades and eateries. That isn’t the Somewhere either. I’m starting to think the Somewhere doesn’t actually exist.

Children play happily on the beach. They don’t mind the cold wind that tangles their hair into impossible knots or the stony sand that clings to them head and toe. They don’t mind the long walk back to comfort that lies ahead of them, or the grains of earth in their sandwiches that they grip with their seawater-soaked hands. Is childhood the Somewhere? The mind of the child has experiences without the multi-layered analysis we all apply years later. It is a home no one can return to.

Run. Breathe. Centre.

A walk across the rocks. Find the balancing point, make a stack. All the colours, all the textures, all natural. Then the water comes forth; aggressive, ready to swallow up the manmade designs into its chaos. No more sandcastles, no more stone stacks. Keep it random, the sea says. Entropy will always trump empathy.

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6 thoughts on “Searching for the Self: Somewhere

  1. I’ve been lately thinking that childhood was, indeed, the Somewhere, yet most of us spent a good portion of our youth hoping to speed up time so that we could experience the seeming “freedom” of adulthood. But it’s not a dual case of “the grass is always greener”, it’s just that the magic we feel in our youthful adventures, first experiences, discovery, etc., doesn’t feel like magic at the time, because we’ve yet to acquire a yardstick with which to measure magic. And by the time we come to the realization of just how hopeful and engaged and wondrous we were, it’s too late to regain that outlook.

    Liked by 3 people

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