Put me out there, know what I mean?
Put me out there in the middle of the ocean when the sun is high, the sky is blue and the winds are just enough to blow back my hair. There is no tension, no grief, no reason to believe or disbelieve anything.
Put me out here where nothing else matters except this, us, and the buoyancy of the deck beneath our feet.
Let me stand here as a witness in the cockpit of my dreams, which is powered by the engines of something I hope to own someday.
This my vessel and therefore; I am the captain. I am the hands on the wheel which takes me to ports I’ve only dreamed of, from here to Havana, Costa Rica, to Panama, to Cartagena, or elsewhere, like maybe the coast of Barcelona or maybe even Greenland, just to see if any of these places are as magnificent as the pictures in my head.
I love it out there in the sea. I love it in the vastness of absolutely nothing but the ocean rolling beneath me in a boat I have always dreamed of.
I can look around my 360 view and see nothing but a line where the ocean borders beneath the sky.
There is no one else in sight. The only visitors are the overhead gulls that fly passed and cry out to their fellow birds in search for food.
I’ve fished the seas since I was young. I’ve been as far out as the dip and fished different parts of the canyons.
I’ve seen whales swim alongside the outgoing boats and trolled umbrella rigs and daisy chains through pods of dolphin to pull up some of the yellowfin tunas that swam below. The dolphins, of course are smart enough to know and they laugh at us as they swam passed, as if to say, “Those silly little humans are at it again.”
The most I’ve ever pulled in was close to 800lbs of yellowfin in less than an hour. We maxed out and had no room left n the coolers. The best part of this trip was the overnight.
There was no action whatsoever but the nighttime sky with a huge moon above is an amazing thing while floating in a small vessel. And I’ll be damned as I thought to myself..
Here we are, somehow with the belief that we run things; meanwhile we are equal to the size of a molecule when considering the size of the world. And then there was me, aboard a boat with rods out, baits in the water, looking upwards, wild-eyed, like a child because the world never looked so beautiful as here.
And next was the sunrise. Not an artist in the world could redesign this type of perfection nor is there a writer alive that could depict this sort of beauty. I tell you no one could articulate or design the variations of color nor could anyone encapsulate the sentiment with a list of words. In fact, as I try to reenact this view; I realize that my efforts still fall short.
The Earth turns and suddenly dawn appears like warm glow emerging at the open palm of the horizon. Suddenly, light begins to brighten the sky. This was the birth of a new day.
The sun was round in the distance, pushing upwards, mirrored across the top of the ocean’s surface; like a reflection of heaven, like a sign of something so brilliant, so beautiful and yet proving us to be so young and so incredibly small. All of us.
I stood as a witness to this. I stood as a witness to something that has been happening, consecutively, on a daily basis since the beginning of time, and yet we, like little specks that glitter in a span of time, tinier than millisecond, we forget that time and size is all relative.
We are small. We are only a fraction of this; we are smaller than anything when compared to the size of the world, which is nothing more than another entity of smallness when compared to the ongoing vastness and the unknowable size of this thing we call the universe.
I tell you this. We live in something so huge, and yet, we forget ourselves. We forget our size, because although we are all capable of massive things; in the scheme of it all, we are so infinitely tiny; —it is only our egos that believe otherwise.
I watched the sun come up like the birth of genesis. I watched the colors take the sky. And there was me and a few others but everyone else were asleep.
And I was happy to be the only one awake. I was happy to be the only one to see this. I felt the warmth of August on my skin. The waves moving beneath the boat were kind and the winds were equally gentle. There was stillness. There was peacefulness. There was a serene moment between me and God the Father as if to absolve me of all my sins; as if to say Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a sinner, a man, a boy lost in the flock.
I looked up as if to be graced by the touch of something or anything so heavenly, or benevolently powerful, enormous and huge —whether it was Buddha, The Mother, Krishna, or the Man in the sky, His beard of long gray cotton, the kind where children rest after budding on Earth to blossom up in heaven —whichever it is or was, I was here to see this before anyone else opened their eyes. I swear it.
Then there was the awakening of the engines and the need to troll home. And then there was the victory of the catch. We trolled back and maxed out. And once it was time, we set the course for the Jones Inlet, which was somewhere around 110 nautical miles north of us. The ride took a while but nobody minded. None of us were in a rush.
We hit the docks later that afternoon, washed the gear, cleaned the boat, and then we all headed back home to get some rest.
In the span of time, days like this are as minuscule as we are; which is why I am thankful for this memory. I am grateful for this moment because I use it in times like this, which is why i want to create more times to use in times like this.
Come to think of it . . .
I have never fished the Atlantic below the equator. I’d like to though. I’d like to set out, late in the day, and find someplace where it is safe to just drift beneath the sunset to await the nighttime sky. I want to feel the warmth of the southern breeze on my face as I watch the sunset.
I want to set my drift beneath a moonlit sky where all the starts glimmer like scattered twinkles, acknowledging to me, like “Hey, yeah, we’re small too.” And that’s just fine.
I want to feel the sea beneath me, rock me to sleep or keep me gentle in the palm of Mother Earth —and I want to wake up and see the surface of the sea reach the horizon and mirror the sky.
I want to breathe the salt air, which in my imagination can heal anything—including cancer, including emotional cancer, and solve the dilemmas of our simple, yet, incredibly over-complicated life.
As I breathe in, I want the ocean’s air to take away my thoughts and painful sediments the same was waves cleanse the debris from our perspective shorelines.
And if she would be so generous to me and allow me a catch; I want to pull up a few fish to feed my soul so that when I close my eyes for the last time, I can say, “Yeah. That was me. I did that.”
I am writing this. Breathing now, fortunately, and thinking about this thing we are going through on a global scale.
I am thinking about the way we are either quarantined or self-quarantined to flatten the curve of a virus that got away from everyone.
I don’t care to blame anyone about this. I don’t care to point fingers and say this is where it came from or this is how things got out of control. All I care about is that it goes away and we beat this virus TOGETHER!
I could use that offshore breeze though. I could use that cure.
Know what I mean?
I could use an inhale and have the ocean’s breeze clean the unwanted sediments of my mind, body, and soul; to have a new sense of genesis, to breathe in, and to have just one more day in the beautiful palm of Goddess, Mother Earth with you