The Drift Line

I can never be sure about things. Even when I am certain, I am not sure. Even when I am firm on a path, my mind wavers at each crossroad, my feet weakened to their task.

Sometimes my mind ebbs and flows like the languid waves on a rustic beach. My heart dives into a knowing, my body gives its all in the moment, but the tides recede and everything changes. Sometimes, if I am an astute student, I can see the drift line of the last high tide etched nicely in my own space, the experience diving into a place where the ocean once met the sand.

I’ve played in the places where water once lived, now left to jagged, broken shells and remnants of things that used to be. The wavy line of sea’s high mark goes on and on, like the mark of infinity embracing the evidence of things that end. It looks dirty in the places where the ocean leaves her mark yet, if one looks closely, there is great treasure to be had there.

The gulls know it, they ransack the place, looking for a meal or treasure of some kind. The pipers play there, hoping to cross paths with an easy score of loot or, at the very least, have a place to meet and play and conjure up a scene for artists to externalize on some canvas somewhere.

I go there too. I love the juxtaposition. There is this seemingly dirty line that separates the power of the ocean from the hot sands, the space of love from the space of despair, the darkness of night from the wonderful dawn of understanding. I sure love playing in the ocean, but I value the journey across the hot sand to get to her, and the wonderful gifts the drift line can give a soul willing to stop, to look, and to listen to its gifts. Sometimes I find the most wonderful sea glass. Others I find treasures I wish to take in honor of the ocean that left them. Still others I get cut, and I bleed, and I curse the moment I decided to play in a place where trash seems to become treasure, where yesterdays’ wonders have become today’s refuse.

I’ve discovered that I’m not comfortable in either Yin or Yang. Instead, I find a home in the drift line. There is no Yin or Yang there, rather a mixture of the two. Black and white are not always paradise. There is a certain evil in their purity. A soul that has never experienced the other side of the drift line has never truly lived, and a heart that remains steadfastly firm in the pleasure of the one in order to never know the pain of the other never gets to know the beauty of the space. So I like to find shelter in the middle, where I can at any time feel the comfort of the sea or the scorching of my feet in the hot summer sands. Sometimes, if fortune shines on me in a certain way, I can feel them both at the same time.

The drift line is, mostly, the truest experience of this life for me. The constant struggle to survive in this version of our world, the unending battle to retain my wits in man’s circus of unenviable unconsciousness. To those who have said, “You think you are perfect” I’ve simply responded, “And you think you’re not. Which is the saddest idea?” Love never demands your complete attention, yet suffering demands you focus on nothing else. Peace never demands your grasp, yet fear always demands you hold on tightly. Truth never demands your worship, yet the lie always demands you bend your knee upon some altar. Your choice creates your experience, and your experience often defines the ripples you send upon the waters you so beautifully travel.

So I play in the middle, waiting for a chance at whatever experience there is to be had. I’ll find the smoothest glass and a wonderful treasure and, once in a while, I’ll cut myself and bleed upon the sand. Sometimes I’ll jump in the sea, and others I’ll burn in the sand. Yet I’ll always know a home where either is possible, and where both provide a glimpse of the other in a wonderful tide of experience.

It’s not hard to get there either. It is, as all things are in this life, a matter of choice. I just need to choose to go there. No approval need be given, no judgement need be made.

8 thoughts on “The Drift Line”

  1. As a daughter of the Islands, I am always renewed by the sea and the shore. You capture the complexity of the drift line perfectly and give voice to the whisper in my heart. Thank you!

  2. To those who have said, “You think you are perfect” I’ve simply responded, “And you think you’re not. Which is the saddest idea?” Love never demands your complete attention, yet suffering demands you focus on nothing else. Peace never demands your grasp, yet fear always demands you hold on tightly. Truth never demands your worship, yet the lie always demands you bend your knee upon some altar.

    These lines struck very close to my heart. I’ve said and thought the same things, many times, tho never with such eloquence. Thank you.

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