The waves crash but they do not crash onto the shore. There is no shore. A shore implies an end and this is endless. There are shallows and I have sat there in the shallows. I have wallowed in their warmth. I have spent years forgetting about sinking, growing complacent and calm. I have not been happy there but I have been still. I have been peaceful. I have been unconcerned.
Then I awake from my stagnation, and without having marked the change, I realize the tide is rising. The tide has been rising for some time. This moment of realization is where I want to live, but it is impossible to keep. I cannot tread water in this place, locked tightly between peaceful ignorance and total panic. I have tried. I have been happy there and that is more frightening than the rising tide. There, in that moment, there is no peace, but there is almost an addictive joy. Then I remember there exists an undertow because I feel its pull. I feel the ache in my lungs and I remember what drowning feels like.
I am afraid.
I cannot pinpoint the moment in time when the tide began rising, but the water is already deep. I do not know if I have merely been complacent to it rushing in around me or if I have been walking out to sea. I do not know if I have moved. I do not know if I am moving. The horizon does not change. There are no landmarks. There is me. There is water. There is the shifting ground beneath my feet.
I worry that my muscles are getting weaker. I know I sometimes stumble. My survival instinct may be somewhat blunted but my fear is still sharp. I do not want to be taken by these waters, but I never know if I will swim.