Drowning is like a slow-motion dance with the rest of your life.
The final choreography is heavy in its weightlessness, each little movement bringing you closer to the truth of who you are.
Something as sharp as broken glass enters your mind, cutting veins at their deepest, causing blood to rush out of ears, nose, mouth. Blood, like blue water, can becomes beautiful and translucent, allowing us to glimpse the hidden folds of our own time. It does not flow but pools instead, shifting sand into old, nearly forgotten wounds.
I take two steps forward in the shallow water that is my destiny. The ground beneath me falls away almost instantly. My mind spins in disbelief as my toes try to stretch towards a bottom that is no longer there. Water simultaneously washes over my head, blurring my vision and muffling sounds. Electricity surges through my entire body. A split second and everything familiar no longer is. I come up for air, try to find the horizon. I keep my head above water and breathe. I notice the most mundane things passing by me; floating seaweed, a cloud, the sound of my own heart, even as fear beats heavy fists against my ribs.
Who is watching? Can anyone see my anguish, so raw and exposed? Life, like death and birth is propelled by a force from beyond the stars. We start out like water and end in dust, dancing for a brief time in between. We do not realize until the moment of truth, that this must all be done alone.
Then comes a silence that envelopes me and erodes my thoughts. It enters my mind like creeping vapour and settles in corners I cannot fathom. Memories come from afar as though in a dream.
I begin to soar, first over water, then above the trees, my belly skimming the highest branches. I look down at all the places where I have lived, all the people I have loved, and my heart rejoices as the wind kisses my cheeks. Air rushes past my ears as I pick up speed and glide with ease over great distances. I see the room where you first looked at me with intimate eyes, the very spot where you made me tremble with unquenched desire and a peace descends upon my heart.
On a table I see my name in red ink, angry slashes on a white page. I come up for air once again. I absorb that the sky is still blue in spite of my own tragedy. The world will continue no matter what happens to me. I reach out but can only feel my own deep grief as well as joy at having been loved. I am still dancing, not yet ready to be touched by a watery hand.
And then I understand completely. Memories are more painful than the cuts of knives, and water, fluid, clear, intoxicating water, is much more powerful than metal. I can become a prisoner of my own fear or I can let go and allow the dance to take me to the place where even the mirror does not recognize me.