This weekend my honey-pie and I set off on another adventure in the sea. The day was cool, the water was calm and the sky was overcast. It was a balmy 68 degrees, which suits us just fine for a Northwestern summer morning.
We boarded a ferry and settled into one of the seats. I popped my headphones on my ears and selected a favorite album by Radiohead. The day was perfect for the expansive, eclectic sounds of OK Computer. The song Paranoid Android, in particular, caught my fancy.
As I listened, I caught sight of the waters below. The surface of the water was still, yet textured like the papery skin of an elderly person. I stared at it, mesmerized. I love the ever-changing sea. My body responded in kind as a wave of pleasure rolled through me, aroused by the perfect moment of sound, sight and sensation. Who says sexy has to occur from human touch? In this case, sexy was just the pleasure of being alive, serenaded by music, captivated by the texture of the sea’s surface.
A moth fluttered and buzzed on the window next to my face. The winged creature seemed a part of my growing symphony. It swept up and down the glass, directly in front of my face. At times it swirled in a circle on the sill. When I gave it my full attention, it stopped, as if pinned in place by my gaze.
So now there was the sound in my head, the sea, the pleasure seeping up inside my spine, and the spinning moth. This sensate symphony spread into the ferry-goers as the couple in the seat directly in front of me started kissing. Curious, I thought, thinking that maybe I’d lent a hand to the sweethearts in the seat ahead by my pleasureable enjoyment of the sound in my head, the swirling sea, the sensuous pleasure inside, the spinning moth. Can we really be conduits for pleasure?
Driving off the ferry, the pleasure continued as my sweetie and I slipped below the sea, swimming into the current (that was supposed to be at slack), exploring the sealife in the sound. I was in a state of relaxation, a state of grace, as I slid through the waters. The surge of the water was insistent, rocking us in a sensuous rhythm.
And then the unexpected occurred – we headed for the pilings, using the rope on the sandy floor as a guide. The current was blowing our way, making us ponder where the slack was, as we pulled ourselves hand over hand along the sturdy rope. Marveling at how relaxed I was, I continued to swim along, relaxed and unhurried.
The strength of the current began to surge and pulling myself along the rope became strenuous. The moment called for attention to the situation at hand. No more la de da for me. I signaled my sweetie and indicated that I wanted to head for the shore.
“Up aways and turn left,” he indicated. He’d been this way before.
On we went. The current blew stronger. Now I was pulling, grasping, reaching hand over hand, fearful of letting go and swirling into the sound, caught by the stalwart current. I summoned my sweetie and indicated my stress, pointing towards the shore.
“Up aways and turn left,” he indicated again, adding, “hang onto the rope.”
I hung. Nature demands respect. The current is blowing with an intensity over the hill, down onto our heads. Now I am afraid, straining against the rope, arms are fatigued; I have enough air to get safely to the surface if we turn left now. Summoning my sweetie, I indicate my terror with wild, sweeping movements…bewildered at how I had started out the day in pleasure, seduced by the sounds of Radiohead, slipped into relaxed, and now was starkly terrified. Plans were spinning in my head as to how to save myself. Sobs burst out of my throat. Rarely, in the wild, am I this scared. I summon my sweetie again and wave my hands at him with insistence. We turn and head towards shore, ferrying into the current.
On the surface, I am shivering as we deconstruct and discuss….and no, I am not cold. I am in a state of stress. Soon terror dissolves. A strong bond that comes from surviving an outdoor adventure seeps between us. We pull each other close and head for shore. We are safe, we survived and we are stronger.
As we head settle back onto the ferry, I am struck by the texture of the sea below. It is smooth, now, like the skin of a child. I slip my headphones onto my ears and the sound of Radiohead fills my senses. The spinning moth is gone, the sun is shining, we are safe and I feel oh, so sexy, as pleasure fills me, stirred by the sounds in my head, the sun, the feeling of safety and the sensuous sea below.
Note: Experiences such as the “struggle in the sea” are the character builders of life. These are the kinds of things I like to include in my writing. We all experience adversity of some kind of another….better to make your way through the obstacle, rather than wallow in bitterness with the stamp of VICTIM along your forehead.