Surfs Up!

Arlen - Seattle, Washington
Entered on April 23, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Watching the ocean churn from the side of the boat, seeing the waves ripple and churn, it’s easy to get lost in its beauty. A million variables change and flow in its currents, and while we could use a computer to provide a close simulation to the oceans effects, we will never be able to perfectly map it, or reproduce it. The mind gets lost in its lack of pattern, a giant system with too many cogs to count.

Yet most of us, either as kids or adults, have been pulled under the waves at least once. That helpless feeling of drowning in a system you don’t fully understand, something that looks so beautiful when you’re floating on top, and seems so dangerous when it sweeps you under, continuing on without you. It is the only way I can try and grasp the complexities of life.

I believe life is more. More than we give it credit, more than we can comprehend. If life was a terabyte download, we’d be a gigabyte flash drive. Depending on where you grew up on this earth, life can seem to be harsh, or easy. Life can be about the pursuit of knowledge, or the pursuit of faith. Life can be suffering, or life can be fulfilling. Life is so vast and expansive that the infinite variables there are might not even show up in your life depending on where you’re born.

I read an article recently about how humans can fit a limited amount of names and people in their heads with any sort of detail, in the realm of a hundred and fifty. It’s no shock then why humans feel the need to categorize, it’s easier to group together when you don’t have the power to memorize the individual bits. The invisible boundaries that separate countries, the wars based on fear, all built out of the fact that the human brain is not powerful enough to comprehend the world we live in.

Whenever I feel lost or confused about my direction in life, I imagine a camera starting next to me and slowly panning out. First the camera would pan out to the surrounding block, then the city, then the state, until the entire world is in view. It reminds me to try and flow with the system, and not get caught up in micro management worries. If your life was an ocean, how would you swim in it?