1 SHE COULDN’T
Waves crashed onto the beach. The wine dark sea. Today. Or long ago, for what is time? Bit so again I see and tell it, I, your troubadour today, The Sea. Different, for I saw what was hidden. Before. But the same too. For love comes again again again. And time. Everlastingly. Even before my crashing waves.
You will say that that is impossible. I agree with you. I The Sea, your teller, telling it in the murmur of my waves at dusk under the moon. The recycling stars. None could be before Me. Not as I tell it here I think.
Read on. This story is not as you may know it but it is mine, my dream, it is true, I saw it of myself, I the sea. Read on, dear readers, read on.
I felt, I knew. The footsteps in the sand, the edge of my domain. Mine own. Paddling. Happy. Friends (so young - well she was young).
Then. Then. Oh what? (surge storm sea wrack, and lightning strike).
Stop. Clear his (who 'he'? no name, no name still?) clear leg of seatangle. Steps again. Splashes, sea ripple, sparklings in the sun.
Long stop. What? What are they doing?
I knew. (not the first time of mortal love, did I not begin it first in those old days before the fall of the tide?).
Seagulls' distant call. I had it now. They were calling to love.
I felt his arms reach, arms for her. In the mist.
His head bending to her, his mouth to kiss, to trust, to swim with him.
I felt her pull away, back, 'way from him. Panic, oh worse than panic, drowning (that terror), then panicking, terrified, she was too young (she thought, I felt it in her, as mothers do) she was not ready she was afraid she was terrified only fifteen not ready yet she must flee fly flight at once now now immediate too young sea loud storm tangled tangle hair with sea wrack caught not get-awaying panic she was too young now now to run run … run …
I felt, I heard, the running running running, hers, sand reverberating, thudding, shocking, shocked. I heard. And felt for him. For hurt. But...
Would he follow? No. For I surged. In his way. My destiny, my destinationing. Sorry.
She was lost in the mist, no way to see, to go.
I swept up the shore. Gently up, but I swept for sure. In in. Right up. High water line. Obliteratering the marks. Quite gentle does it all.
She had abandoned him, abandoned, yes abandoning. Why did she not swim? Easy to find the sea then swim, I'd made it gentle, crashing stopped, along the shore, so easy for her then (not after).
Still standing there he was. Stood stunned, shocked numb, paralysed with short breaths, not yet believing she'd rejected him, her dearest nearest bested trusted childhood's friend. Now, growing up, was surely time. Was time for love. Had not romances, myths fables that they'd shared, the heroes, dragons killed, maidens, that they'd read as one and veneration-ed not told them so? Why had she not believed? And stayed. Or swum.
Oh go Kate go. I gentle my breakers, wheedle with wavelets, sing the sweet melody of the ocean waves. But still she did not dare. Not even one foot feeling in.
Oh Kate my pearl. Nurtured in my waves, my grits my grains of deepest caves, carved from curved ripples, translucenting, sung in the dancing waves of dawn, oh Kate my pearl, my wished for precious own.
Oh not too late, I'll hold the tide. The moon objects? Sweet Selene, but love but love comes first, pray she agrees.
What, was she hesitating now? Kate. Yes, yes, go on. Now one toe in. Then drawn quick back.
Go on go on, it's warm and soft. Only my sweetest arms to holden you. Here boundless peace, no storms or breaking waves. Or broken hearts.
Oh dare it dare, my Kate my dear of old, my mortal one. Still not too late.
I felt her shrink, abond shrunk again. I knew. She dared not dare to think. Even let it enter into her mind. She could not swim at all, she said (she could) even for him, her friend, even if she... But she did not. Of course did not. Her life was other, her own destiny.
Though - She hesitated, hovered again.
But oh but oh too late too late, oh Kate too late.
He'd plunged and gone,
Too late too large alas for life for love for happiness. Too late for my embrace, for boundless heaven. Oh Kate my dear. What will you now?
And so you see, he went, all right. For him all well. Nothing amiss. Just - deeply hurt, distraught. 'Nothing' you say? But he was strong, he had to be (well, we will see. Perhaps soft and weak inside? Just wait my tale, heroes not all be-armoured clad in steel).
But she but Kate? she'd failed already, she had left. Left Me. And me so ready there to help, embrace her with my swelling softenesses, caress and help their quest, to the great sea for heaven to embrace their love for evermore, envision her mind aeternutatus specie.
He had agreed to it, I knew, he had indeed.
But she would not. Did not. That day. That fateful day that set her path, how could I help her now? Or even him? So hurt so modest-ed, so shocked and shattered, desolate.
As a hen gathers her chickens under her wing to keep them safe and loved, so would I have gathered her, with him. Alas. But she would not.
Said she was too young (too young for love?).
Me left alone, even I the sea, the ocean wave, lonesome for her.
For she would not.
No no, she said, she couldn't.
The silly girl.
Perhaps he was foolish too as most men are. I know it well in human lives. And loves. Too quick too slow. Too slow to follow her and snatch her back, throw in the sea then must she swim, then rescue her, a hero, hers. For her. Yes hers to love. As mermaid to merman from the sea.
Or else mayhap too quick? Cajoling, slowness, first? Will ye not learn God's time and good stately pacing dance from me, the passing pacing passion, tidally paced, of ocean wave? Its spreading winsome pat-ience.
Oh time, oh mortal time!
For now must I watch them grieve.
Me too perchance, for can there be any sorrow like now to my sorrow here? To see them part,
The sorrow of the wakeful waking watchful sea? Bleak sky above.
If she will not then must I follow too. The story goes, with her. Her footmarks lost in the water. My waters. My filling fulling fuller tide. My doing. For them. For love, I see, must suffer first, if it is true, challenges for the young before for-ever bliss togetherness. If ever that. Must learn ye faithless ones, must learn of Me.
Yes sorry. And yes alas, it was Me too that she fled, my love, my story. Short and happy it could have been if she'd agreed and dared to swim, with him, in love and trust. But now the tale is long and ruthless full, my story now.
So we will wait. And see. My tale (and if you've heard it other, then judge and see, for stories are not all the same; who is to say which right which wrong?)
So now - the ocean's tale, the sea.