Standing at the Edge of the World

It began months ago, a whisper of a suggestion that I dismissed almost immediately. Initially, the spark sufficiently suppressed that I can only barely recall what might have heralded the starting point, had I believed it to be. Now, by necessity, I must commence more or less mid-way, although I'm not quite sure when the end will come. Which makes it all the more exigent to simply start where I stand.

Currently, I stand on the west coast of North America. The continent across which most of the United States is willfully sprawled. Specifically, I stand on Redondo Beach, in the South Bay area of California. An end of sorts, my having traveled from the opposite coast by car. Or a beginning, since that is my present perspective.

The sea is mesmerizing. The dark surf swells as it approaches the shore, exploding to white frothy waves that curl and roll one over the other in a race up the sand. Exhausted, the sea retreats, only to hasten back again - momentarily grasping the shore yet invariably failing to gain hold, slipping away.  

This frantic to and fro is powerfully swift and almost purposeful, but in a most peculiar illusion appears to slow and settle into careless nonchalance. It's nearly rhythmic, but without precision, which is all the more entrancing; the ceaseless crashing of the waves against the shore as seductive as a heartbeat.

Topaz Jetty, Redondo Beach

Topaz Jetty, Redondo Beach

I can neither leave, nor look away.

Having driven more than 3400 miles through mountain passes and farmland, deserts and prairies, nearly begs that I recount how I find myself standing at the edge of the world, with no particular plan. Yet, for many months, writing has been nearly impossible. The mental disarray in the wake of battling depression and anxiety prohibits any linear chronicle. I lack clarity and focus. But the ocean provides unexpected relief. Its perpetual undulation, roar of white noise, and curative chill wind clears away my mind's debris, leaving almost nothing.

Mercifully, I am hypnotized.

The exact moment in which I definitively decided to drive across the country, abandoning my tiny house for weeks - even months - may not come to me any time soon. When I can once again hold firmly to a thread of thought, I expect my recollections will continue to meander in their usual untidy fashion. Perhaps by then, the spell of the sea will have convinced me to simply follow where they lead. Maybe then I will find focus. I did, after all, write this.

That's a start.