I try to think back on when I first fell in love with water—fell in love with storms. I think it was, perhaps, the whimsey that my father breathed into the lore—the way he made rain seem like magic. How he never made us come inside once it’d begun.
With water, I have a strange relationship. Far too often nearly drowned off of the California coast, the ocean is some 17th century romantic beast. I watch the way her hair curls. I hear the way she roars and I fear her.
And yet, the waves seduce me. I will always step back into the sea. I like the way the salt smells on my skin, how my long hair hangs, drenched and heavy, down my back.
Perhaps it is the water inside storms that I am drawn to. The way the sky, its swollen belly, hangs heavy just above my head. I could reach a finger out and poke the clouds, and watch the tumult settle down to earth.
There is something inside water. Something wild and unfixed. It demands growth and change—it forces movement. Without words, it passes to us certain hungers, certain thirsts.
Water breaks so we may enter. From the fluid, we are born. Humans carry water in their bodies and their blood but only mothers carry it inside their wombs. When I look out on the ocean, I see a great big mother-space. The biggest of them all. Perhaps this water is the key to our rebirth—a certain baptism by salt and brine.
I wonder, if I gathered all the men inside my family, and swept them up into the sea, how would they emerge? If I whispered secrets of the waters in their ears and taught them how to roar could they become another thing entirely?
Through dissolution, water breaks things open. It uncovers and reveals. Withdrawn tides, the way they show us glimpses of the treasures of a seafloor. How sharp and broken glass becomes smooth stones.
If I left them all to soak inside the water, like buoys floating in the surf, then maybe when I gathered them back up, they’d look a bit more like themselves.