Writing Advice from the Ocean

Excuse me, white ocean foam, but would you mind helping me with my story?

Not at all. But I’m formless, you know. Words aren’t my forte. I prefer to touch.

Well, that’s great. This is what I need help with. Touching rather than convincing. How do you do it?

I am what I am.

Mais encore?

I don’t try to pretend I’m something else.

How did you find out who you were?

I stopped asking. I started moving. I let myself be moved. I boiled over and rubbed at the sand. I let it rub me. I forgot where I ended and it began.

So you found out who you were by forgetting what you were?

Precisely.

Then what?

Then I stopped worrying. Or worry stopped worrying me. I mellowed. I learned to reflect the sky instead of reflecting on me.

But didn’t that make you hostage to circumstances, absent from your own life?

I am life. I don’t own it.

But I want to be an author. I want my voice heard. I want my name printed glossy and I want my father to brag about me to his secretary. 

Then do as I say.

What, dissolve into nothingness?

No, dissolve into everything. Soften enough that you can wrap yourself around every toe, every boat spine and whale and crustacean monster and plastic bottle and fish feces and, and, and …

Breathe

I am beyond breath.

Then you will drown.

I am the drowning and the drowned. I am the ear and the roar. I am, I am, I am.

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