I’m struggling to toe the line between familiar terrain and new discovery. Discovery has always beckoned, like the tide receding from the shore, calling me to catch it. Why would I want to remain on the sand, beaten down into momentary solidarity by the push and pull of fleeting water which it waits to welcome, rush after rush?
They tell me that I will never achieve mastery, chasing the tide. “They” – the embodiment of tradition and convention, everything that I was raised to think are right. The average Seven Year Itch somehow halved itself for me, like liquid tears meant to lubricate my vision drying up with a premature puff of desert air.
We confine ourselves to what we have learned before, through happenstance and encounter, afraid to venture into new territory where we cannot call ourselves “Master.” There is always more to learn. Yet we silo ourselves into predetermined boxes of thinking and knowing, cliquish Echo Chambers who try to immortalize ourselves through text.
But the static words, voiced or unvoiced, will never match the power of the tide. It adheres to a natural rhythm set in motion by countless forces, invulnerable to take-backs or rewrites. It carries memories that reverberate until their force is spent.
I keep skirting the tide, letting it beat itself against my ankles and steal the sand from beneath my feet. If I dive into it, will I become a non-entity to you, no longer rooted upright, battling movement?
Lauren Mark, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State Universityback to all PROVOCATIONS