Sunday, September 7, 2014

The ocean

The ocean is where you stop going West.

It doesn't matter who you are —

John Wayne.

A thousand hardy pioneers who've lived through punishing heat and spirit-numbing winters; exhaustion and starvation; typhoid, dysentery, and cholera; day after day after day of tedium and back-breaking work; fear of Indians; rattlesnakes; babies' deaths.

Thelma & Louise.

— When you hit the water, the West stops. The water stops it.

Game over, whether you were ready for it to be over or not.

Suddenly before you is something else completely.

The tools you used to get here are invalid, of no use to you now.

You stand — because you can go no further; you can only stand — and look, and you think that maybe it was the ocean that was pulling you out here all along, like moon on tide. Maybe all that feeling you felt when the land opened up was only a symptom of getting closer to the sea, and knowing it, feeling it in your body that is mostly water.

All you can do is stand, and look in awe, and eventually turn back.

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