Part of my soul thrives in a city, with its concrete borders and the cacophony of street performers. Cities speak my primary language, color and chaos. This, the most familiar part of my heart, is like an abstract painting with slashes of red and blue intersecting haphazardly. I love cities.
In the city, strangers gather in groups and in families. The architecture, the excitement, the risk, all entirely human. The city current pushes us along sidewalks, in and out of shops, across crowded streets. In a city I am part of a collective, sharing air and sight and sound with the crowd.
I love the crush of humanity, the shared experience and the flavor of a hundred cultures in a single block. In the city, my heart reminds me that I am so human.
The ocean says something different. It speaks to something I'm less aware of. I find myself reaching for the boundaries, trying to find the edges of my world. There are no edges, the world stretching beyond my vision, beyond my understanding.
By the ocean, we stand alone. I climb the rocks, going to the end of the world I know. This is it, the edge, the furthest I can walk before I leave the most connected parts of land. I squint at the horizon, desperately alone and terribly small. This is bigger than me, I think, and I grieve.
Behind me, a beach ball rolls across the sand, disconnected from my longing for the deep. The waves lap across my feet, every one changing the shore. Where has this water come from, I think, as the sun beats against my skin, skin I did not create and do not understand. My toes dig into the sand and their impact is immediately erased.
All around me, the deep blues and long stretches of beige, like the loneliness and the tragedy. I let the sun heal me, the waves remind me. I listen to the silence and I understand, I am not only human, but more.