'Casowary' by Philip Thurston
The wave came and swept me off the shore.
I had been so caught up in things I hardly noticed its arrival. And suddenly there I was, being dragged and churned out to sea.
Upturned in the undertow.
I watch the detritus of everything I had been building fall away around me. A mission, a career, a voice, a job, a flat, a favourite dress accidentally thrown to recycling because I am unable to move myself out.
But there's so little time to notice if it even matters or what I have even really lost.
Because my body has almost stopped.....
Because the minutiae of everyday life has become the greatest act of will....
Because it seems crawling is beyond me....
Until: nobody knows….a few years?
The rest of my life?
So far nearly two years of watching friends meet up, go out, move on with their careers, do wonderful things, have babies, find the loves of their lives.... But it is two years of re-learning what really matters.
The wave swept me up with such a force.
And now, I’m still churning in the swell.
Time breaks down into the nano-seconds as the energy transitions from the wave moving out to sea with all its might to hurling itself back onto the shore.
I am in the void.
Salt up my nose. Robbed of breath. Under the hooves of white horses.
Being scraped along the sand, the spree, the debris.
I cannot make any choices yet. I will grab hold of any hand I can find in the tumult and keep squeezing tight. I find a hidden air pocket. I can just be here now. I will keep watching and listening. I will keep getting stronger. I will turn it into a detective story.
I will work it out.
Eventually the momentum that upturned my life as I knew it will head back to shore and reconstruct with an equal strength of force. It doesn’t have to be quick this time. Just a strength of groundswell, as sure as the tide.
And when I do make choices, to only rebuild with the precious and the good, I will carry the same potency with me.
It will fizz in my cells like a compulsion.
Life’s compulsion to find equilibrium; every action matched by its opposite.
Because the power of this thing is immense.
And I notice I am beautifully,