9.23.2010

sand & sea

About a month ago, during a massive mood swing up out of my June-July depression, I decided I should get out of my head.  First, I probably should get out of my house. Why?  Because. 

Today, I had an interview for one  of the volunteer jobs I wanted.  I applied in August with resume, references, and a cover letter.  (This is NYC, nothing is easy.)  It's near the ocean, working with animals. The animals were awesome to behold. The job, not so much. It's mostly preparing food and cleaning up, in 8 hour shifts. It also requires self-purchased equipment. (I'm probably going to volunteer at my second choice elsewhere.) Still, watching the animals play, smelling the organic ocean stink (that I like), feeling the blazing sun on my skin, the breeze tickling the fine hairs on my limbs-- feeling alive-- were good things. I'm glad I went. I almost canceled because it was such a trek.

Afterward, I went to the beach. I was ready, my bathing suit on under my clothes, towel and sunscreen in tow.  I only stayed an hour because I only had so many quarters.  The weather was perfect today, mid 70s and sunny.  I walked barefoot on the dirty sand, taking care to avoid the broken glass. . .  I waded in the cool water, waves lapping my calves, toes sinking into the wet mucky sand, watched the barnacles open and close with the tide.  Then stretched out on a towel in the sunlight. . .  AND, drum roll..... I actually read texts for my graduate work!  

It's the perfect setting for dull reading. The smell of salt air, the lumpy waves of sand, the sound of crashing waves. . . it was lovely. (A strong antidote for panic attacks that tend to attend my research.)  I'm thinking of making the beach research-reading a weekly routine.

The drives there and back, though long, --and not without my lost detours that I can not avoid-- were glorious.  Bridges and rivers and ocean.  The tolls cost $27 because I took the most direct routes.  (You read $27 correctly, this is NYC.)   I drove down Manhattan along the Hudson, Jersey palisades on my right, the groovy grime and architecture of the city on my left.  I watched river traffic with barges and sailboats and a helicopter--it was lunchtime traffic, stop and go.  I went through Staten Island with views of the narrows (where ocean meets river),.  Drove along parkways following the Atlantic shoreline.  Seabirds, the small rock islands in the Port of NY, moving reflecting waters, boat horns lowing.  Breathtaking at times.  Windows down, smoggy salt air blowing through the car, listening to Bloc Party, tanning through car windows. --Does life get any better than this?

I need to remember.  This is living.  This is why.

Remember the joy of physicality.  The sensory pleasures making us alive.  

But we forget.  I forget.
We make ourselves sick with our tucked away comfortable places, separate from the world, separate from each other.  So much so we can separate from our own bodies, in a bad way.  Those  with solitary celibate lives are at even greater risk of losing touch with our flesh.  Sometimes we force separation to deal with the celibacy.  It's not good.  Spirituality is important, but physicality is also important, essential.  One without the other is sickness.  We are equal parts body and soul.

Sex is clearly an important part of that equation.  So those who live without, need to be especially careful not to get lost inside.  We have to work harder to feel the joy of our bodies.  To remember we are flesh and blood and revel in it, to celebrate our sensuality.  It's not easy.  I'm lost in my head 98% of the time, and  I'm sick with it.

Nothing in my life has really changed since I wrote the last post --other than being $27 poorer.  But what a difference!  I will try to hold on to this for as long as I can.  The curative powers of sand and sea, flesh and body.  Remember.

2 comments:

Eliezer said...

Thank you. I for one needed this reminder. It takes a deliberate effort for me to enjoy the sensory world. It's something I often neglect.

The Singlutionary said...

Being sensual is a huge help to me in not feeling like I am missing all that much from being abstinent. Touch is MOST of what I crave. And yes, the touch of the ocean or the wind or the sun is just as wonderful.

And I'd much rather be kissed by the sun than by some douche bag.