I know the ocean.
I can hardly help it, living as I am in a country made up of more than 7,000 islands. Beaches have been a fixture in my life, as they have been and are for so many Filipinos. So I know the ocean.
Wait, I take that back. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that it's a familiar presence, one whose moods and appearance change on a regular basis.
The same ocean can look and feel different in any given location at any given time. Variations in the water's azures and aquamarines; waves that either roar tumultuously or lap playfully at one's feet on the shore. It's full of strange creatures, its depth in certain areas is unfathomable. It's full of both beauty and tragedy.
I've swum in it, but never too far out and never when I'm uncertain of my footing. And I've never gone too far out alone. So no, though the sea is a familiar presence, I'm afraid I must admit I don't know it as intimately as I would want to.
What I'm trying to say (and failing dismally) is that I'll be attempting to swim out to a different part of the ocean that I've been swimming in all my life. To explore the unfamiliar places within the familiar. To improve my swimming technique or heck, even learn new styles. To examine the patterns of the waves and learn from them, though I'm sure to inadvertently swallow a mouthful or two of seawater when I least expect it. I'm apprehensive yet excited.
Since I'm going to be Out There you might not find me that often Over Here or over at Your Place in the coming weeks. My apologies.
It's just that I should stop being too comfortable in the shallows. Time to stop just gazing at the horizon. Time to get up, brush the sand off this fat ass and get more than just my feet wet. Time to take a deep breath and venture farther out.
Smart alecks (you know who you are) shouldn't take everything in this post literally. Just saying. :-)