A Poem From Rebecca: On Water

Posted by Rebecca Atwood

On Water
On Cape Cod,
at a beach as familiar
as a childhood home,
I look out at the endless blue.  
Today, the ocean is bright and reflective, like an enormous mirror;
on other days — in other memories —
it is choppy, almost violent,
or else slate gray,
ready to be drawn on with chalk.

As a child, I stared out at this same ocean:
utterly vast, too big to understand or compute,
fascinating for that very reason.
I was drawn to it,
this giant body —
sapphire or slate or cerulean —
as if it were possibility itself.
I walked the shores,
gathered shells, waiting
for the tide to reach out and touch my feet. 

I still do this:
wait for the water of possibility
to reach out and find me.
(Water and creativity
have become interchangeable, connected:
rivers merging to meet each other,
eddying out into the larger bodies.) 

Today, the tide of creativity edges in
with the swift calm of a poem.
On other days — in other memories —
it comes like a crash, announcing itself:
the splash and spray of it
landing like paint on a canvas.

When the conditions are right —
weather, mood, timing —
I decide to swim.
I actively submerge myself,
diving all the way in and under.
I reach forward, into the reflection
Of the sunlight, and charge into 
its field of energy.
Under the surface, in the dappled azure,
I can hear nothing but
the steady drum of my own heart.

Down here, all is blue
The way the sky at dusk looks from inside
Only to reveal its blackness
When you step out
This nowness
This cobalt blue world,
This deep aliveness:
Pressing an ear to the ground
Letting myself sink into the aquifer… 

Later, when I am warm and dry,
I will try to remember this feeling:
the quiet, the knowing, the weightlessness — 

     call it a flow state
     call it fearlessness
     call it a flood —
holding my breath as I attempt to rediscover
the treasure of the truth.

Sometimes I remember:
water is everywhere,
in the atmosphere and in our bodies.
By simply existing, we come in contact
with creativity; we are creativity.
It gathers like clouds, 
embraces us like fog,
rains down on us unexpectedly
like a summer storm.  

A choice:
to open the umbrella or to open one’s mouth,
tongue outstretched,
letting the storm inside of us.
To stomp in the puddle of possibility,
to run through the sprinklers of it,
to look into the enormous mirror of it
and see the brightness
of the entire sky reflected.

-Rebecca Atwood, edited by Molly Prentiss