To flow freely

There are a million things you can be. Will be. You will not be told this secret by most you meet. For they are afraid. They live in a world that is finite without the understanding that all things begin and end over and over. Finite fits inside infinite. We are again and again. We are eternal. Not in the small way that some storybooks tell us.

The inevitability is that your atoms will, at some point you do not fully control, be scattered and rearranged. You are composed now. Your story has a start and a finish. There are only so many chapters. What most people fail to see clearly is that the story of you and the story of me are part of a bigger story. The story of us. All of us. We all swim together in an ocean of time. At different moments we might tread in its gentle flow and float together for a while. I know that the moments when I can swim with you might be fleeting.

That is why, when I am bobbing along in the timestream and you happen to be caught in the same current I am, that is important. You might be my companion for a moment or a lifetime. I don’t know. To flow freely is my destiny. I have spent too much time and energy trying to do something that no one swimming in an ocean of time should try to do. Staying in one place should not be the goal.

I will flow freely. To wherever it is that I end. To begin again in a new incarnation that is not going to be what I expect. As I wait for the gloriousness of not knowing to arrive and wash me away it occurs to me that I would like to touch you. I’ll try to remember your eyes. Their color. I’ll try to remember if you laughed and what it sounded like. I will write down the one thing you said to me in that moment that was worth remembering and learning from. Even if it is only for a moment. You were trying to teach me something in the moment that we floated together. I’ll ponder and remember and try to know what it was.

What if that moment turns into a lifetime? It could you know. The ripples and echos and eddies of us seem like beautiful untapped potential. At the beginning of this story I did not understand that I will pass a million faces floating in the sea of time with me and perhaps only see them once. That all of those faces contain something I should try to know.

It’s why now, if you see me float by, and are paying attention you will notice that I am staring. I want to know because I do not. Know how much time is left before my story ends. Or your story ends. And where the ocean will receive this thing I call me into itself. So I look deep into your eyes as you pass by. To see if you will give me something worth chewing on, worth writing about, worth a dance or a song or a painting.

And when the next me comes along without remembering the last me I hope that something I knew in the part of the ocean where I met you helps the you and I who come next know something new. We are all meant to flow freely, to swim until we are tired, and then to sink down into dreams and be remade.

There are a million things you can be. Will be. Which one would you like to know about before this story ends? Let’s take a moment together and float in the question.

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The author

Pen has been writing in a professional capacity for two decades. He started his career as a combat correspondent in the U.S. Marines.

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