Icarus Undrown

August 4, 2018

The setting sun has not yet turned red. The dazzling light renders the simple composition that unfurls before me overexposed: the sky white, the water black, and the frail sails at the intersection transparent. The more I gaze upon the horizon, the hazier it becomes. The sun is a gigantic white hole, her fatal splendor captivating all who beholds her as she falls.

All the boats are already sailing towards the center of oblivion. Some have completed the unification and melted into the bright whirlpool, like a drop of water casting itself into the sea. Others that barely touch the edge, their sails already begin to dissolve into glowing flakes – signs of higher transformation.

So drawn to it, so seized by it, I tried to swim far toward the outer sea, to join the gliding boats. They are so nimble, yet I am so feeble – deprived of the wings, fallen into the sea, and left with my bare limbs. Only that delirious longing still burning. What else am I to do besides to strive for that great nothingness with what weak strokes that the fatigued arms can afford.

Yet the invisible breezes intermittently swoosh by, leaving echos of giggles behind that gently awakens the napping waves. At times, indolent rolls of the waves easily rise above my head to block the view of that heat source entirely. At those moments, I am lost and anxious. And so alternately, I am consumed with yearning and anxiety, until an unusually large roll of waves arrived that forced me to instinctively defend myself by turning my face back toward the seashore with eyes tightly shut.

After it had passed and everything dissipated to stillness again, I wiped the brisk water off my face and rubbed my eyes to allow them to slowly release the defense. The first thing that projects onto my mind was a picture much smaller in scale, in contrast to the expansiveness out there, but more exquisite: from this angle, the sea water touched by the yellowing sun turns emerald green; the wavy curves of sand patterns on the bottom reveal themselves with clarity; the black lines denote the shadow of the land, and the golden patches reflect the brilliance of the west.

The turbulent mind soothed, the exhausted heart comforted, the charred eyes fixated downwards at this magic for what felt like a slowed-down while. After that, I cast a look at the blazing horizon again – now finally a bit wobbly, and thought to myself in this cool clear water: today I will not be able to make it, after all.