At home in Kansas, I don’t think about the ocean much although I was born only a few blocks away near Coney Island in Brooklyn, and although I grew up in places only a short drive inland. The ocean is there, I’m here, and I’m so in love with the prairie and especially the big and wild-weathered sky that my heart is full.
But sitting right now in my bathrobe on this small balcony attached to our room on the ship, I’m immersed in big-horizon happiness. The beauty of the ocean when it surrounds you — something I never experienced until now — is unlike anything else, the rolling skin of water carrying us as the wind topples crests from blue to white in the distance.
Of course, it’s tricky to adjust to, and last night, when the ship picked up speed, I felt like I was drunk (I don’t drink, but I remember), rollicking down the hallways, and having to grab onto my mother a few times so I didn’t fall. My head was swimming, which I guess is appropriate, and all of us were alternately dizzy, punchy, nauseous and thrilled, but it did make being upright a challenge.
Last night, standing on the balcony as sheer clouds, open sky and a moon waxing toward half, I started crying. “It’s so beautiful,” I kept thinking and even said out loud. Later, Natalie came out to the balcony, and she started crying too. The depth of the beauty reminded me of that scene in the film Contact when Jodi Foster’s character lands on another place until twin suns, and her scientist-self-protected-hardness melts away as she cries in joy. I didn’t need to go into space for this, however, just out to sea. It’s so gorgeous, I feel some primal urge to jump in, but quickly remind myself, “No, you will die if you do that, and you want to live.” I do, but there’s something about the ocean that makes you want to join it.
Meanwhile, the little waves the ships makes break below me, the sky clears to the west, clouds shifting north and south. Meanwhile, room service has arrived, a great luxury (and something I’ve hardly ever done before because of the expenses, but such things are included on cruises like this), and I sip coffee, getting ready to eat some fresh fruit. Meanwhile, we are carried along, rocked gently, south where we’l spend the afternoon and evening in Nassau, and I’ll get the chance to merge with the ocean when we go to the beach.
I wish this kind of beauty and peace, so wide and deep, for all of you wherever you are, and of course, I also wish for everyone to get to experience living on the sea for at least a few days.