…Never Made A Skillful Sailor (2/2)

 

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Art by: Huebucket

At this point, you either black out or you are paralysed.

Either way, no one starts gracefully. We all gasp for air, our throats seized with panic at first, our arms and legs kicking in fear. Ironically, we act like fish out of the water, thrashing around, wrestling the elements. Submerged in bills, decisions, appointments that you don’t know how to handle.

As you awaken the next day, tossed and turned around, nebulous like the froth of the sea, it dawns on you that for a long, long while, it will be just you. You and this vast, endless world. Temperamental, smooth, deep, calm and yet strong, this is what you’re up against. So deep it is that your feet never touch the ground. You are constantly out of your depths. There is nothing that has been as hard, ever. You are trying, heartbeat after heartbeat, to just stay alive. It becomes exhausting to live like this. So you stop trying. You find out that you can just lay back and let these waters take you wherever they will. For a while, that is life. You let yourself get drunk and seduced by weightlessness, over and over.

You do not care, you have no spirit left in you. Until the ocean turns inclement and it takes you by surprise as though you’d forgotten how it could be. Its waters turn you over, swallow you, crash in on you wave upon wave, and your body fights with a vigour you thought you had lost. You wake up one day, sober,your head feeling like an egg that has been cracked open. ‘What am I doing with my life?’

Sometime after, as the ocean is calm again, you meet some other soul. Thrown off a boat, haggard and famished like you. Under normal circumstances, you would have never cared for them. But now you are inexplicably linked, to the end of your days. Because right now, anyone will do.

Little by little, you learn together to hold your breath longer. You learn when to go with the ocean’s tides and when to swim against currents. You are learning that while you cannot find consistency in something this wild, you can learn the ways in which it is unpredictable. You learn to breathe again, to handle the tides, wave after wave. And if you’re drowning again, there’s someone who’ll save you.

By then, you keep meeting others like you. Drifting towards you like lost souls. Soon, with knowledge and the many people by your side, the untamable ocean just becomes life. With ups and downs, and storms that you have learned to weather. And one day you might have a ship of your own and someone to make walk the plank…


Note: This is Day 24 (!!!) of my NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. You can find the previous part for this story here. Short stories (Or just stories) are not really my forte, so if you have any constructive criticism, let me know 🙂

Figuring Out Who You Are

 

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Art by Gunseli Sepici

You toss and turn the night away,
as if hoping that the movement will
cause all that’s wrong inside,
to finally fall back into place.

You’re restless, breathless and hopeless.
And I want to say: “You don’t have to be.”
Because it is when disassembling the pieces of a Lego house
that you have enough parts to create a bigger one.

Everything doesn’t have to be in place all the time,
else it means that things have never moved,
that they have never changed.
But you, you want to evolve.
You want to grow.
You want to be a better you.

So embrace the messiness.
Make out with the idea that you’re a work-in-progress.
We all are.
It’s just that some of us are building foundations,
and others are redoing the paint.
But even then, you never know when
you’ll want to knock the whole thing down
and start all over again.