this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath - herman melville
in graduate school, i read kate chopin's awakening for the first time. i was immediately drawn to edna, the main character - probably because her
views fears of femininity and motherhood echoed the questions in my own heart. and? she's irrevocably drawn to the ocean. the final scene shows edna succumbing to the waves of the gulf of Mexico.
now, while some may question her final appearance as a depressing twist of fate, when i read the story i was overcome with the hope of edna finally pursuing her heart. there was a risk involved in stepping into the ocean and allowing the waves to completely drench her. she fights the desire to dive into the wildness of the ocean for most of her adult life, bending to the expectations around her. finally, devastated by a forgotten love, she flings herself into the ocean. when i read the story, i didn't read an ending of a life but a restoring of her true self. almost a last ditch effort to remember what it was like to feel alive.
i think the ocean a wild and untamed life-force. like edna, i'm irrevocably drawn to the waves. for the past few years, we've considered leaving for an extended weekend to the coast. this year, we decided to bite the bullet. until tuesday, i'll be breathing in the salty ocean air and walking through the waves. perhaps the crashing unpredictability of foam-spent water will whisper some secret messages meant only for my soul.