I sit on the edge of the ocean. This ocean is not the calm and serene ocean featured in airbrushed magazine ads for Tahiti or Jamaica. This is the ocean off the coast of Ireland, full of rage and tempest. The spray of the ocean breaking on the rocks melds with the gray mist of the sky and turns the whole world upside down. And there, in the in-between, I sit.
I am neither here nor there and I’m not fully sure that I ever will be safely on one side or the other ever again. Sometimes, when you slip in-between, there’s no full recovery to safety. All you can do is sit and watch and feel the spray.
The time I fought from drowning doesn’t feel so long ago. The heaviness in my chest, the emptiness in my hands as I cradled that which I blessedly couldn’t hold, the weight pinning my heart to the depths of my soul, it tried to crush me and now it haunts me. If I am stuck betwixt and between, can I ever forget?
Can I ever forget the look in his eyes when he came home fearing the worst? Can I ever forget the sound of his heart breaking when he told me he couldn’t remember the last time he wanted to come home to me? Can I ever lose in the distant past what was stolen from me? Can I ever escape the in-between?
Maybe this edge is where I am meant to live. Maybe we all are. Because once you’ve sat on these shores, you don’t forget. You don’t escape. You carry a piece of the topsy-turvy with you for the rest of your life.
Sometimes it threatens to overwhelm and crash everything down on top of you and around you. Sometimes it drags you backward towards the spray. Sometimes it simply reminds you where you once were and where you never will be. Sometimes the in-between saves you. Sometimes it takes you away.
I sit at the edge of the ocean, past and future crashing together in the salt-sea spray. I am of the in-between and I will wait to welcome survivors to this desolate shore. We may not ever leave, but staying doesn’t rob us of living.
I sit at the edge and watch the world around me crash. The sky and sea merge into one, and there in the in-between, am I.