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Water

Originally written September 22, 2013



I love the peaceful feeling the seas and oceans give me. I have always loved water, down to a chemical level. It's one of the most fascinating substances on Earth, and I love the dichotomy of how it's the one thing that makes life here possible and we're made of it, and it's necessary -- yet it is without conscience and without pity and without mercy. It kills.

The seas and oceans are water at its most primal. That's how the whole planet was once, whether you trust in science or believe in religion. In scientific theory, there was once a single supercontinent and a single boiling super ocean and all water on Earth was one body. Then as it cooled and released its gases into the air, our atmosphere formed, which cooled the planet enough to make life possible. All life began there, then crawled onto the land, then the continent exploded and drifted apart and separated and made the giant ocean seem like five different oceans and a bunch of seas, but the truth is they're all still one, and one day they will rejoin. Seismic activity pushes them closer to each other each year, like limbs slowly reattaching themselves to the same body. In Science, the oceans are the cradle of life, but one day they will also be its grave.

And in religion (Christian/Jewish/Islam that is) all the world was darkness and water ("Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." -- Genesis 1, verse 2) until God brought light and order and land to the world. I love the idea of water on a planet that has no other form. I love the idea of the darkness.

So no matter how deep the political divisions are we can all agree that sea water is the oldest thing on our planet. Not the things in it, the water itself. Just hydrogen and oxygen. That's all it is. So simple but capable of so many things. It makes me think humans should be capable of more because we've got carbon too. We should be resilient, like the water we are. Water can never be truly destroyed. It just keeps changing forms, and keeps cycling. Water we drink now is the same water that was here billions of years ago.

I love to close my eyes in the water, or swim at night, and pretend I was there, all those billions of years ago, on a planet with nothing but darkness and water. No atmosphere to capture the sunlight and give us a sky. No God-given light. Just vast emptiness, and me. It makes me feel powerful and powerless at the same time, and that tension gives me peace. I finally figured it out in Greece because I had a lot of time alone in the sea to think. I realized that since we’re all water, it connects us all on a molecular level. It made us, and it can take us back.

That's why I decided that when I die, I want to be buried at sea. If I die of something like cancer where there's time to prepare, I want to go as far north as I can into the Arctic ocean, wearing a long white dress, and dive into the cold water and give myself back to the ocean I came from. I’d weigh myself down and let myself drown. I would not allow anyone to recover my body or create a tombstone for me. That would be the end.

I am almost looking forward to it.

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