The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea. – Isak Dinesen
I spent last night taking in the midnight sky again on Nags Head Beach. I love the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore. I found it so interesting when I was a kid how the ocean waves actually have formed the coast. With the constant pounding of the ocean water eroding away at the rocks until the large rocks eventually become tiny grains of sand. Seems like there is a hidden analogy or two…
When I was on my first deployment (as of four years ago yesterday we left Everett, Wash.) I used to love being out on night watch, not for the crappy hours you had to say awake like 2200-0200 or 0200-0700, but for the chance to stare at the midnight sea that went as far as the horizon then disappeared into the darkness. If I wasn’t on watch then I used to escape out to the Starboard Boat Deck (where we used to deploy the small boats for search and rescue missions) there was a side room where we would store buoys and if you sat out there at night no one would know you were there. It was the perfect place to go escape to be alone, a place where you could go collect your thoughts and enjoy the peaceful seascape. I have always loved the sea, there is a sense of peace out there that you don’t find anywhere else.
As the midnight tide crashed against the shore and rolling back into the sea I got lost in the stars again. The simplest things in life and yet to me they seem to bring me the most peace and joy…it seems like an eternity since I have felt at peace.
I heard a quote in a movie recently that really struck home with me:
“I have nightmares too. Someday I’ll explain it to you. Why they came. Why they won’t ever go away. But I’ll tell you how I survive it. I make a list in my head. Of all the good things I’ve seen someone do. Every little thing I could remember. It’s like a game. I do it over and over. Gets a little tedious after all these years, but… There are much worse games to play.”
That line, along with so many others in that movie, hit home for me. A nightly battle…one I always seem to lose…my nightmares. A silent battle no one knows, a silent battle no one sees and yet it rages within me as soon as I close my eyes.
Before leaving on this trip a good friend of mine offered their “two cents” to “do not let the world change you, it is rare you find someone like you, so stay just like you”. Little did he know that my whole life has been a continual fight to not let the world change who I am.
So instead I now make a list, of all the good I have seen. Whether that is from one person to another or it is standing on the banks letting the ocean tide roll over my toes as I take in the smell of salt in the cool, damp night air. Watching a million twinkling stars dance above my head on the midnight stage.
As my cross-country adventures continue I am starting to really see how this trip is not only an amazing opportunity for me but it is also is becoming a trip that I am starting to really find new things about myself I never knew before. I have learned that I must come to terms with my own fault and fears in a truly humbling manner.
My heart is a Sailor and for you it sails the deepest waters of my soul in search of all my hidden treasures anything to win your love for that is my only desire. I wish never to force you to flee, for you are the fuel I need to keep this ship sailing, to keep it from touching the bottom of the sea.
Traveling Photographer Out!