Forgive me for being so plain, but all things aside – including the alchemy of eternity being the steady stream of each moment pouring into the next – my purpose for being here today is to plunge into the water, as far as I can tell.

This lake, viewed from the sky, takes the shape of a long crooked finger. Or you can go higher, to where the atmosphere brushes its backbone up against space, to see that finger as a fleshless bone. But from here, submerged in the warm and cool pockets of earth’s embryonic fluid, the lake is smooth, polished, for the moment undisturbed, except for the fading ripples made by me. It exists in a moment of perfect silence sought by many, found by few. If you listen closely enough, you can hear it whispering:

“May my breath be your breath. My heat, yours. My fluid strength, my supple resilience, yours. May you give up your crowded loneliness to me, press me to your forehead as a cool cloth easing a fever. Nothing but the chest can contain the heart, nothing can protect it but the rib cage.”

The lake’s words ring true. Sometimes the walls of alone-ness press in on us, even as we long for solitude. Sometimes we long for something we think we don’t have. Sometimes we forget that we too are part of nature – that we, too, are included in this thing that so often astounds us.


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