The Surface Fringe


When I was eight, nine, and ten, you’d often find me lingering in the cavern hallways among the glowing jellyfish. These creatures floated, and I wondered: What did they think about? The rock walls were moist with flowing water from somewhere else, and I would imagine just for a moment: I was one of them. I fell into a trance, lost in the smell and gentle sway.

I savored oceans and pools. In part because, I felt that lakes and rivers were a mock comparison of something they could never become. Pools were small manmade escapes, that were still therapeutic from the backyard. If I had to choose my medium, I would always pick an ocean. I adored its limitless nature. It settled my soul in ways other things couldn’t. The ocean was a mirror of me and of all the things I have and ever will be. As a child, I embraced myself completely. Yet, as I became a teenager, I started to fear myself and what I was capable of. I was losing touch with myself, unable to understand these new depths of me. In turn, I pushed these fears to the ocean and what it could do to me instead.

The ocean was a mirror of me and of all the things I have and ever will be.

My God-instilled instinct told me that the ocean wouldn’t hurt me. As if it were a game, and not my life at risk, I would continually challenge this instinct. I started to have nightmares, and this transcended into the many accounts of nearly drowning. I was a small child, with pale hair haloed around me as I sank. I’m sure I was laughing as I sank to the bottom, because in my mind, I was playing with God. But to “sink” is too heavy, the experience is far closer to floating in a place that I couldn’t breathe in. My lungs burned and were numb as if it too were touched by salty coolness. I could still see the sun’s blurred rays. God himself gazed at me.