To The Sea


“Did you know the sea talks to you?” She asked, concerned.

“I don’t believe that,” he said. He shook his head. “The sea just lets her waves roll in, onto the beach, and takes them back again, to safety. Whether the water is smooth or it rumbles, it’s nothing more than noise. The sound of nature, not of man.”

“I never said it was the sound of man. I only said the sea talks.”

She looked hurt, but not because he didn’t believe her. When he said the sea didn’t speak, he probably didn’t hear her voice either.

“Maybe the sea just doesn’t speak to me?” He tried to make up with her.

“Or maybe you don’t listen.”

 

She thought of the bright-yellow boat in the bay. Thought of it bobbing its head up and down, trying to go along with the waves. Towards adventure, towards safety, but succeeding at neither, stuck at one spot in the middle of a turquoise blue field. The silence that followed cancelled everything out. It was a bright, white circle growing ever bigger, something like the paintings by that Russian artist of the 1920s. The silence was alive, sucking the oxygen in and out of his mouth. She felt it weighing down on her, crushing her chest, until the three breaths rose and fell as one.

 

“So, what do you say?” I’m not sure who said these first words. Whether it’s the boy or the girl doesn’t matter, the silence was broken and time was flowing its normal pace again.

“I think I was trying to say something,” said the other one.

“So did I.”

They were quiet again, but a normal kind of quiet this time. She pushed a strand of hair from her forehead back behind her ear, or maybe it was his hand. I can’t be certain.

“To the sea?” said both of them together. Their voices created a symphony worthy of an opera house but forever lost in the bleak landscape they were standing.

“To the sea,” they replied.

 

Seagulls circle the yellow boat. The sea is a mirror and the boat lies still as a rock. Two times two, the paint turns the sea beneath a different colour, and the seagulls as the fish they are trying to catch.

“It’s every colour on the other side of the horizon,” she sighs. He just nods, and listens, maybe.

Seagulls circle the yellow boat, quiet and still, like planets around the sun. Maybe she is the sun, he wonders.

Maybe she is. Maybe she isn’t. I can’t be certain.

 

[Aike Jansen]

Image courtesy of Aike Jansen

 

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