|"Sealight II", oil, by Carmen Beecher|
“You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you,
fathomless, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms.”
-- Walt Whitman, “Starting from Paumanok”
Sometimes, when I’m sitting on the beach in front of breaking waves, I feel something like an ocean streaming and spilling inside me. I’m sure we all feel this sometimes, this sea of feelings and thoughts throwing itself around inside us, so many breakers of ideas dashing against us. In a sense, this ocean inside us is vast and unrestrained, for who can see where it starts or where it ends, where our feelings flow from and where our thoughts have their start? I’ve sometimes tried to trace a feeling back to something solid, some certain source, and all I’ve ever found are more feelings, all flowing from somewhere unseen and evanescent. My ideas, too, seem to simply arise, like fish flashing out of the sea for a few seconds and then disappearing, leaving no trace of their origins. It’s almost scary, this feeling that all-powerful forces are flowing inside me and may break loose in liberty at any moment. All of us are singular and incomparable in this world, and all of us have these “unprecedented waves and storms” inside us that Whitman speaks of. He seems happy to have them there, and happy that they are stirring. So should I, and so should all of us be pleased to have immense and mystical seas always inside us.
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