Wearing the sea

The sea reminds me of a muscle. It carries me, tendrils sucking at my arms. If I touch, it feels soft. Hit it, it feels hard.

This morning I asked a local surfer how to body surf (bodyboarding without the board) – she said, throw one arm forward, swim with the other, and catch the wave. I caught the wave, was flung forward, rolled over the seabed, and spat onto the beach where streams of Atlantic poured from my nose and mouth. Painful fun. We had to avoid the riptide, and the granite lumps scattered around on the sand. Yellow and red flags guided the swimmers, black and white flags the surfers. Lifeguards patrolled the beach, wary.

The sea that slides down my face has the power to hurl ships but still it’s vulnerable to plastics and our use of fuel. I share my food with it by way of offering. I worry for it, I fish out plastic and waste, hope to preserve, curate, and appease it. I love it but wonder if it’ll kill me in the end. It’s made me more alive in the meantime.

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