Breathe.

Each of us an ocean
– An ebb and flow
– A tug-of-war
Being torn between
Memory
Who we wish to be
who we pretend to be
& who we really are

Standing atop the rarified peaks,
– Those colossal waves
Of immutable drive
& infinite possibility –
The horizon you’ve spent lifetimes  lusting for,
Beaming your wildest dreams
In tantalizing rays,
Seems close enough
To lick your salt-crusted skin
And wrap you in the warm embrace
Of finally
Arriving.

All waves break.

And in that foamy maelstrom,
Yanked under without warning
By a tumble-dryer vortex,
Horizons recede to distant memories
& the raging force of your own
momentum
Exiles you to self-made hells
Plumbing depths of leaden doubt
Screaming bubbles into the void
Ribs cracking under kilotons
Of fear, worry, failure.

All waves break.

Only to rise again,
Propelled
Even higher than before,
Even closer than before,
Until, at long last,
You wash up on that distant shore.
Body battered,
Mind frayed,
Bathed in that same sun that once felt
An eternity away.

And for once
The air smells not of salt
But paradise.
Inhaling that sacred scent
Of arriving,
Of overcoming,
In spite of
– And because of –
The waves that tossed you there.

When the ocean overcomes you
You need only remember:
Breathe

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