I stagger, slightly dizzy, still reeling from the blow that just hit me. Somewhat unsure of what it was, I grope for a rail or a rope, anything to steady myself. My sights are crowded but ironically I feel alone. There’s a constant hum of activity, the world spins in motion around me, but somehow I’m at a standstill.
I’m supposed to be free. I was just released, the chains unleashed, but I’m stuck. Directionless I spin, searching for a path to take, a heading to make. Though there are no road signs out in the sea.
It’s a flood of emotions. There’s confusion, anxiety, and a hint of fear. There’s frustration, guilt, and a twinge of anger. They continue to roll over me in waves, relentless as they hit my battered hull. I’m afloat, but barely.
At times, I’m dazed. My frame fails to support me and I crumble in a heap on the floor. I’m confused about where I am, and even more riddled by where I’m going. I haven’t acquired my sea legs, yet.
Then comes the anxiety. Which way do I point? To whom do I turn? I have a place to lay my head, but is it really my home?
Fear comes and goes, like the tide. Usually I pay it no heed. Usually it doesn’t bother me. But every once in a while, it creeps up. Like a sucker-punch it hits me, and my sandcastle walls collapse. And then it ebbs away again.
Occasionally I’ll make some headway. My sails will catch a gust of wind, or my vessel will be carried by a wave. But then the wind dies, and the waves will cease. It’s frustrating, to be a sitting duck on open waters.
Then I feel guilty. How can I blame anyone but myself? I should have prepared myself better, should have trained harder. Then I wouldn’t be stuck in this predicament. Yet here I am, and I’m the only one to blame.
Or am I? Anger rushes in and I point my finger elsewhere. Anywhere really. But it’s pointless, because no one else is at fault.
So for now, I put my hands on the rail, and hold on tight. I look out over the waters and wonder what waits out there. I know there’s something. I just haven’t spotted it yet.
Stranded and alone, I have plenty of time to ponder. Yet even with this, I struggle. What to ponder, where to cast my gaze… these are the answers I lack.
Whoever you are, if you’re even out there, what say you?