I never swim in the ocean.  Truthfully, I’m unnerved by it—the constantly crashing waves, the sudsy foam and lank strands of kelp. 

I did not see an ocean until I was eleven.  I imagined it would welcome me, have missed me—be waiting for me. 

Instead I stared at the Southern California shoreline with furrowed brows.  There is no sea foam in photographs.  It looked like soapy water.  It looked polluted. 

The water was freezing and strands of kelp tangled around my legs while the dark water concealed what my mind told me must be a million deadly monsters and creatures. 

In reality I think the disapointment was only this: a two dimentional beach with white sand and clear waters is a postcard.  That was all I ever expected.  I was overwhelmed by the complication of the ocean, the vastness of it, the cool dark temperature, the moss-slick rocks and life-heavy smell.  It was, upon inspection, not the carefree beach of my imagination, but a stormy, deep, heavy thing.

When I think of it a symbolic, as burdensome and redundant, the heavy Pacific can become it’s own sort of beautiful.  But it will never be light or peaceful.  It is a wild and tercherous thing.

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