Thursday, January 19, 2012

the fibreglass cradle

“The cure for anything is salt water….sweat, tears or the sea.”~ Isak Dinesen* 
The Fiberglass Cradle

I’m reminded again, laying on this hard slab, of why I love the sea. Yesterday for moments it had seemed my mortal enemy as I hung on the board and kicked with all I had yet was pulled further and further from shore. I could hear the fear in STG’s voice as he yelled “let go of your board and swim – NOW.” I could see it in JRock’s eyes as he mentally debated whether to abandon his board and help me pull mine. But mostly I tasted it – metal and bitter – in the back of my throat.

I could swim for my life. Or I could float away. Maybe someone would rescue me – those more experienced surfers further out perhaps? But it wasn’t their job. And it wasn’t really that far to safety. So I swam. I let go of the board, and kicked and paddled and swam and suddenly was spat upon the shore on my knees, the board perilously loose but tied to my ankle slamming across my hips.

But today, just a mile from yesterday’s battleground, the same sea rocks me. I love its playfulness and its predictability – every fourth wave scooping me up on my fibreglass cradle – up up up ... and then down laughing onto the sand. Mostly I love its paradox – that it is both the source of all life, and so easily the end of it. I lie on the hard board and let it rock me. It washes away a year of mayhem. It holds me and plays with me and reminds me why I love it. It reminds me I’m okay.

We begin in salt water - it is what we breath for the first 9 months of our lives. Is it any wonder it calls to us forever after?

*This is ABSOLUTELY one of my favourite quotes by one of my favourite authors ... I was thrilled to receive this prompt in my inbox]


  1. It is interesting how it's metal and bitter when it's against you, yet familiar and calming when it cradles you. I understand where this inspiration came from. It was nice to revisit the memories.

  2. I must have dropped a stitch - the fear was metal & bitter ... Thanks for commenting - it's so rewarding to have a response :)

  3. "Metal and bitter" my favorite aspect of an overall lovely piece! I think sense-memory is one of our most powerful tools as writers... and that copper taste we get when we are scared or angry (or otherwise wrapped in great emotion) is so universal that it is wonderful for drawing in your reader!

    There is so much other great detail "the board perilously loose...". Good stuff!

  4. Thanks, Venus! My sharpest memory was the terror on my boyfriend's face as he realised we were getting further apart ... I never want to see that look on him again. Dang senses - they do linger!

  5. I love all the expressions that you used in this!

  6. You manage to touch on the simplicity of our relationship with the sea, and to highlight the complexity too.

  7. I love the complex nature of this.

    Your wording was really well done. This was just lovely. I enjoyed it.

  8. Thanks, RJ, Cameron & Lance - it was such a rich prompt. In this case, I think the incident included all three expressions of it. I truly appreciate the feedback. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...