THE DROWNERS, THE SWIMMERS, THE FLOATERS, AND THE SEA by Alexandra Rain

THE DROWNERS, THE SWIMMERS, THE FLOATERS, AND THE SEA by Alexandra Rain

Note to reader: Before you begin reading, I would like to explain. A few months ago, I learned about quiet desperation. This particular lesson was, to say the least, overwhelming. I was confused and frustrated about many things, but mostly, the dynamic of life. By no means am I claiming to have it figured out. I recognize that I am only sixteen and I have more life experience to gain. However, this lesson of quiet desperation pushed me to realization.

William Shakespeare offered the phrase, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players;” (As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII).

For me, all the world is a sea. And all of the men and women merely drowners, swimmers, or floaters.

Another note to reader: I would like to thank you for reading my words. I would ask to please handle my words with gentle care. I was hesitant about posting this because it is rather personal but after moments of debate, I figured it might be worth sharing. Hopefully you can take something away from this. Here is my mind in the most transparent way possible. Forever more, thank you. Yours truly, x.

The drowners, the swimmers, the floaters, and the sea.

If you’re expecting something poetic, don’t. I can’t promise beautifully stitched sentences or words full of deeper meaning. I can’t guarantee anything spectacular or some life-altering, intellectual insight. I’ll say it again: if you’re expecting something poetic, don’t.

I can only offer you the honesty of mind. This is the ballad of my brain. This is all that I learned in my English class that, embarrassingly enough, left me in tears after class.

This is the drowners, the swimmers, the floaters, and the sea.

I’m drowning.

I’m jumping ahead of myself, however.

I’ll return to the beginning. The start of the blues, an invitation to the sea.

The sea.

The sea.

The sea can be divided by three. Or at least, in the way I see it.

First, the good.

The good. The bright blues. Clear skies driving around in an old, red convertible in the summer. Milky blue watercolors shared over a cup of coffee. Tennis courts and palm readings. Laughing until your ribs go tough. The blues. Jumping into lakes. New places with the same old faces. Polaroids taken by your little sister. The blues. Downtown. Used books. Underlining in blue inked pens. Denim on denim. The blues. Road trips, falling asleep with your head on the window. White bed sheets and campfires. Sleepy eyes and tired minds.

The good. The lovely greens. Mysteries. Messy hair and captivating eyes. Summertime of ’07. The Wizard of Oz and sushi with your aunt Kate. The greens. Swimming pools in July. Farmer’s markets in September. An itchy sweater in November. The greens. Jumping off the diving board for the first time. Laying on the grass with the warm sun on your face. Freckles scattered on your back. A hand intertwined in yours.

Second, the bad.

The bad. The dark blues. Constant comparison. Never feeling good enough. Jeans that no longer fit, friends you no longer talk to. The blues. Failing tests. Not understanding the academic material that everyone else claims is “so easy.” The sinking weight of stupidity. The blues. Stress owns every fiber of your being. Worry has you by the throat. Depression sleeps in your bed. Anxiety lives next door. The blues. Running but having no where to hide.

The bad. The devilish greens. The evil monster of jealousy. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing the tall, beautiful blonde (who, for the record, is far more put together than you). The greens. A stomach in knots. Not being able to find the words to say. The greens. Fights with your mum. Refusing to talk to your dad. Yelling at the person who has done everything to help you and then being filled with regret immediately afterward. The greens. The knot in your throat the won’t come undone. Hot tears swelling your eyes. Nails digging into your palms. The greens. Dancing with the devil.

And finally, the mystery.

The mystery. The unknown, for better or for worst. Complete wonder. A puzzle that will always be missing one piece. A compelling complexity.

The sea.

The floaters.

The floaters.

That’s just it.

No curiosity to this aspect.

Just floating.

Drifting along the easy blue, with their beating paper hearts and their paper minds.

Paper people playing make believe, seeing what they want to see and never searching for a deeper meaning.

Unaware of those beneath them, with their paper eyes to their paper sky, ignoring any sign of actual life.

Can I tell you something? Just between you and me?

I think these paper people glance down at those in the deeper ocean. Just for a second.

How do their paper minds comprehend the drowning beings?

Maybe, just maybe, for a slight second, they crave something more and they want to jump into the waters. Maybe. Or perhaps, they look into the deep waters, and see the struggling beauty of life and decide to continue on their ignorant life. After all, ignorance is bliss.

Either which way, they float.

And that’s all.

The swimmers.

The swimmers.

Swimming in a grey matter, existing in a grey matter.

Not floating, not drowning.

Only swimming.

I won’t be bold enough to tell you whether or not swimming is enough.

You tell me. Is swimming enough?

Is it enough to do more than float? Is it enough to not to dive fully into all the sea has to offer? Is it enough to stop yourself from feeling entirely? Is it enough to have half of your body in the blue’s beauty? Is it enough to be made of more than paper? Is it enough just to be plastic?

Plastic hearts, plastic minds.

Is that enough?

The drowners.

I am drowning.

She is drowning.

He is drowning.

Drowning.

Erase any previous knowledge you have about drowning. Dismiss any context associated with drowning. Remove drowning from every literal context and approach drowning in an abstract matter.

This is the art of drowning.

I am drowning. And why?

It’s all a matter of too much.

I care too much. I think too much. I talk too much.

I care, I don’t know how not to care. I’ve tried on the coat of carelessness and it’s oversized and uncomfortably itchy. It doesn’t fit. I’m amazed at those who can wear that coat like it’s their own skin. I care. I care about those around me, worrying about whether or not they realize how significant they are. I care about future generations to come, creating a sustainable environment for them. I care about people I haven’t met yet, I worry about their wellbeing and if their basic human needs are being met. I care about the future, how I will change the world. I care about my family and I care about my friends. I care about the way the sky changes color at night. I could go on for ages but the truth is this: I care.

I think, overly so. Curiosity has me by the throat, it’s tight grasp strangling my airway. Curiosity takes my hand and drags me down the street, zig-zagging through traffic. Curiosity french braids my hair and whispers secrets to me. Curiosity is inescapable for a girl like me. And the result of the big brother figure that curiosity has become? Overthinking.

My mind spins circles around itself, dreaming up endless possibilities. For better or for worst, imagination has been a constant in my thought process.

I talk too much, simply because I have too much to say. Words are the world’s power, words will prevail. How could I refuse that power?

She is drowning.

Her eyes are an electrifying blue, a pool of hope. Her voice is full and her laugh loud. When she laughs, I swear the universe stops to listen. She is kind and soft. She promises gentle love.

Her eyes are a dry blue, a pool of loss. Her voice is dry and her words short. When she cries, I swear the universe stops to listen. She is tired and broken. She promises harsh hate.

She is drowning. And why?

She feels it all. The good, the bad, and the mystery weigh down heavily on her. I watch her through fragile lens, afraid she may sink at any moment.

What a feeling to feel it all.

He is drowning.

He is the light of my life but he has the dullest days.

There are moments though, when he laughs or flashes a goofy grin, and in that very moment, you feel as though everything will be okay.

You feel as though everything will be okay because even though you are tangled in the deepest of blues, these beautiful people are drowning right there next to you. Real hearts, real minds.

I am drowning, just even as you may be drowning.

The drowners, the swimmers, the floaters, and the sea.

This is water.

This is the sea.

These are the floaters, the swimmers, and the drowners.

This is water.

This is life.

 

A final note to reader: Drown. Not literally, obviously.

What I’m trying to say is, allow yourself to feel deeply. Allow yourself to care, allow yourself to think. Use your voice.

Life has plenty to offer, but only if you let yourself dive in.

Don’t float. Be more than paper.

Don’t swim. Be more than plastic.

Drown. Be real, be authentic.

 

Furthermore, I would highly encourage everyone to listen to David Foster Wallace’s speech “This Is Water.” It is linked down below. Thank you.

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