2/18 2010

Thoughts From a Beach

Categorized under Writings by Dave

The sun was pouring down onto our young skin. We were bobbing up and down with the incoming blue and green and brown waves that were constantly shifting their colors because of the way they would dredge up floury beige sand and churn it over and over again in the water like it was insisting on rubbing the sand clean. We were in the far flung corners of outer space, years and years from our childhood but so much in the center of the meaning of what is to be a child. We were clean and clear and calm and free splashing in that warm water and there was nothing more to hope for other than maybe some chicken and pineapple sandwiches for lunch after drying off, and a sunburn that didn’t hurt too much when the cool water from the shower that night landed on our rosy shoulders.
Moments like these in the Hawaiian islands can make us wonder what we’ve been thinking about and what we’ve been feeling and what we’ve been focused on this whole time. Could we clear our heads all the time and just be – be okay with the way things are, with the way we are? Could we always attain this level of joy, of nothingness, of thoughtlessness in the midst of and total awareness and wide-eyed amazement of our world?
Thinking like this must be the trap, though. This seeking of perfection, looking to the future and past to bring us contentment. We can be addicted to our own suffering and let it define us. It becomes a part of ourselves as much as our hair or eyes or heartbeat, and if we lose it, we risk losing a part of our identity. Our worried minds cannot be washed away as easily as those waves could whisk us away into that sun-drenched ocean. Of course this is just what the mind wants us to think in the first place – of course the same worried mind is going to worry about itself! Perhaps there are other options to explore…
To think that we should always be a certain way is like insisting that the sky always stay blue and then feeling hurt and abandoned when it turns gray.

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