I remember laying in the hot Florida sun looking at the gulf waters sliding along the coast line sparkling in magnificent shades of blue to where the lines between ocean and sky were hand drawn by beams of sunlight mirroring off the water. But I had this internal struggle between the appreciation of beauty and awareness of the environment around me- sandy, smelly and salty. Under the waves lie unknown clusters of danger like jelly fish or sharks. Walking along the ocean is a terrifying beauty as I spend equal amounts of time in awe of it and in fear that I may step on a jellyfish or jagged rock or decaying fish. And it was really humid. Sand was magnetized by the exposed and sweaty areas of my body. The back of my knee was in a constant state of exfoliation. Maybe I have slight fear of the ocean or an infatuation.
I have had that same fear when I started writing. Is the beauty of it worth the fear, the unconfortableness, and exposure to vulnerable areas? Strip away all the detail, and all that is left is still beauty. Are my beach concerns issues, or petty fears? I can’t remember what I did first, see the ocean or start writing. I am finally at a point in my life were writing can actually be priority and it terrifies me. The metaphoric jelly fish. I am walking along the beach- split between looking down in danger and looking up in beauty.
Our road trip ended as far west as we could go, the Oregon Coast. It was a different kind of ocean that I was used to. My beach experiences are mostly of the Atlantic and Gulf. My version of ocean is for swimming and laying out trying to read a book. The Pacific version is slightly different. We drive up this winding road while the ocean stabs itself into the mountainside. The perfectly melodic voice of Nick Drake narrates; “Now if it’s time to recompense for what’s done; Come, come sit down on the fence in the sun; And the clouds will roll by; And we’ll never deny; It’s really too hard for to fly.” In this middle earth-esque scenery I knew there is something vast and bigger, more demanding of this ocean. We had driven three thousand miles and this was the climax. Starting back home meant starting over. This was the reset button; the refresh that my life so desperately needs. I wasn’t thinking about fiscal deadlines or performance discussions. I wasn’t thinking about the pending list of school supplies or pairs of new jeans and shoes. I didn’t have time to wonder if I was working too much and missing how fast the babies were growing up. There is a spot near all the tide pools. We had to climb along the rocks to come to it. It is a deep hole in the rock and every time a wave approaches, the water sprays out of the top. I stood there. Holding Jackson’s little hand and watching Olivia try to get a perfectly timed picture. Once the mist sprayed me in the face and I knew that there was no turning back.
In 2011 I started a blog to help chase away some personal demons I was fighting at the time. It was my outlet and when I was keeping it up the demons stayed at a safe distance. When I didn’t write regularly, they resumed their descent. Layla described writing harmony as three things working in unison: motivation, timing and inspiration. In a perfect world, all three would exist. Stripping everything else away to concentrate on writing creates a whole new pressure system. Holy shit. So much pressure. And cracking under pressure is exactly why I lost my job. The demons are closing in so I am back. Keeping up with today’s ocean themed metaphor. Think Jaws. Circling the boat. I am the boat.
This blog is the start of my new life. The Pursuit took me to the ocean that day and since then I have stopped making plans. I am not organized or neat or well thought out. I exist best in chaos not order. I don’t think, I feel. I don’t just go to the ocean: I journey to the ocean. When I imagined my life as a writer, there was a quiet room lit only by the stream of natural sunlight pouring in and a purring cat at my feet. In reality I am sitting in my windowless basement playroom splattered by toys, and electronics and the laundry I am reminded I have to fold. I see half empty cups that the girls have promised they would clean up. Cece is climbing on the couch next to me sometimes using the keyboard as leverage to stand on back ledge. Jackson is rolling his cars along legs; the long stubble is perfect for makeshift grass. Somewhere in all this chaos, Cassidy Marie Rose was born. She sprung out like the waves in that hole spraying everyone with a delightful mist of writing. This is where the journey begins. New blog. New life. New perspective. New identity. I have spent so many times in the writing closet unable to admit this side of me. For fear of rejection, ridicule, and exposure. Welcome to my unveiling my locked journal. I am no longer afraid of the unknown ocean. But I am still a little bit terrified of jellyfish.