Not a rant tonight, but a story. A true story, about looking
Slack in the face.
I live at the corner of Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay.
The southern corner of the mouth of the Bay is Cape Henry.
This is in Virginia Beach, one of the largest resort cities
in the world, and the city with the most shoreline, 148
miles of it.
So much water to play in, it's to be expected that most
people that live here take advantage of that. I certainly do
-- I body surf in the cross currents at the very mouth of
One day after work I walked to the beach and caught a few
waves. The warm wind was out of the west, coming from the
shore, so it kept the waves high and slow. And it blew the
spray back over the tops of the waves ahead of me. The sun
was getting low, and shone golden through the mist as I rode
the warm waves slowly into shore. This experience was
already solidifying into my brain as one of those peak
experiences. I recall thinking this even at the time, before
the next part happened.
The curl of the waves were pressed flat and glassy by the
wind, and the water was uncommonly clear. I looked to my
right, and saw a fin protruding from the wave, only three
I raised my head and looked over, and looked right into the
face of a Tursiops, a bottle nose dolphin. I looked at him,
and saw him swimming on his side, looking at me. We were
both riding the wave, he below and I above, and we were
experiencing this together, examining each other
experiencing it, both looking at someone from a different
world, doing the same thing, together.
A Tursiops' mouth always looks like it's smiling. But their
eyes don't always; they have expressive eyes if you're close
enough, and I was. He was smiling at me. And I smiled back
as we rode together.
After only 15 seconds, my stomach scraped sand and he turned
away. I stood and looked back where he had been, but he was
I stood there for a long time, thinking about what I had
just experienced, what I had been involved in. There's still
a lot I can't express about it, but there's a few things I
think I can.
Here I was, involved in recreation, something I do when I
can, when I have the time, playing. And I met up with
another being doing the same thing, only it's something they
do all the time. I have to do lots of other things that have
to do with survival so that I can occasionally do this thing
which led me to this experience. But he does this any time,
and it's built in to his survival work.
Our lives differ in this respect, but they are similar in
that we were playing. Together. We were experiencing each
other and the situation as something we did simply to do it.
And we enjoyed doing it with each other. We communicated
through our actions, across a gulf of such entirely
different minds that many think no real communication is
possible. But we did communicate, and the message was simply
that were having fun together.
I doubt they would have any interest in anything else we
might have to say. After all, this is what they do, what
they know, and wouldn't be interested in most of the rest of
what we keep our brains busy with. And I can't for the life
of me imagine a more important message to communicate than
the fact they we enjoy each other.
After that, there's no need to say much more.
email@example.com The Doctor is on.
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