Losing Coastlines

Ananda Day - Senegal


August 25, 2009

Who said sailing is fine? Leaving behind all the faces that
I might replace if I tried on that long ride,
looking deep inside but I don’t want to look so deep inside yet.

-Okkervil

For me, realization is the coast of the sea. As you leave the water to go back to the beach you notice the tide receding, the little crabs burrowing back in the sand, all the shells that it would not be a good idea to step on, and the rush of the ocean… then you get hit by the wave that has been building the whole while that you have been walking out.

Now there are two types of realization: one comes from being the person getting tossed and tumbled by the wave, i.e. the one who gets introduced to the seafloor on a first name basis. The other is the person laughing from the beach thinking that they will always watch out for waves now. While they empathize, they do not have the vivid memory of having a shell unceremoniously shoved up their nose as a constant reminder.

Before this past week, I was the happy bystander sitting on the beach. I knew that I was going on this trip, and have been beyond excited about it. I knew that I was going to be gone for a year from all my family & friends, but that’s really all it was, knowledge.

Now I am on the other side of the tide line. The realization really has hit me that for a year I will not see the people who have made me who I am. They  have shaped which way the sinews of my heart feel when I love someone, molded my humor to the intricacies of language, brought me past the brink of what I thought possible, taught me to truly understand what I knew, and gave me insight into life’s twists and turns. All the people who brought me these realizations will literally be sitting on the other side of the world this coming year.

No, I’m not ready to part with these people now. Yes, I’ll have come to terms with it by the time I leave North Carolina. No, I will not lose the realizations & places that these people hold in my life.  And yes, I’m going to be ready for new faces, new realizations, and new coastlines.

Ananda Day