Get Wet: Crash with Force into Your Purpose.
Who detects the flip of the fin, the shimmering scales dipping through muddy, dusk-lit waters?
I am that wild tail-beat, pulse beat
I am a sojourner of my own creation
Will you swim through the heaviness of the tides with your searching crystal eyes?
Can you leap from the waters with the flick of your tail, the strength of your muscle, your masculine strength and soft feminine light?
Are you able to see the sun and rise to the surface when the charcoal thickness of night coats your horizon?
Will you gasp, begging for one more breath, feeling the sand as the waves push you to the ocean’s grave?
Water is heavy. Sometimes my fin gets caught in a knot of languid seaweed as I swim through the dense, cold waters. There have been times when that feeling of being stuck created a burning rage inside me, but the waters quenched the fire and I turned gray again. Water is powerful.
I couldn’t push the bind I created for myself out of my spout. And so I just gave in, I just breathed through my gills and remained motionless. The funny thing about being a fish is that when you stop moving, you die. Or at least everyone around you thinks that you will. So they make all sorts of effort to get you going again, to get you re-engaged.
But fish understand about death. They just do.
First, in this life, there were the starry nights of wonder, staring up into a billion stars, and now there is the knowledge that what I see from my lake are stars that already died so many years ago. Some stars are an illusion. Anyone being able to move you in any direction without you propelling that motion with your fishy desire is an illusion.
When I was eight years old and my father died, I would not eat. I was mesmerized by people sitting around tables and gulping down food. I was a fish with a lure caught in my throat. I was choking on my own existence. I was convinced that I was next, that I would stop breathing one night.
I would not flap around, gasping for air, it would be quiet, and calm, not like a fish out of water at all. Oh no, I would go under the dark watery cloak of night, drifting into a sea of nothingness. And I was desperate for this not to happen. Because I had a lot to do here. Next, I became afraid that my mother would die.
I would listen to her breath at night, just to make sure.
I stared at the beautiful angelfishes swimming around in my brother’s tank. I felt for them, traversing a rectangular geography, a tiny waterscape. Black stripes tattooed on their white see-through bodies and fins like wings. They glided on those wings, like the angels I imagine, that picked all of us up and set us back to living.
I don’t know why I liked to catch fish. My brother often took me fishing. He was an ace, he could feel and see the fish beneath the surface with his amazingly precise vision. He taught me how to cast and how to search the woods for animals. He said that I saw things that most people didn’t.
I was really good at catching fish, but I don’t think that is why I was there. This became evident any time that a fish struggled. I did not know the term catch and release then, but I called it letting them go or putting them back. This knowledge of how I needed to fish came from some dusty part of my soul, and I had zero idea why.
But when a fish struggled on the line, I became sharp with focus. My brother had, and still has, a kind heart. He showed me strategies to remove hooks and lures safely, and to flush water through the gills when one struggled. It became a quest to see that same fish in our little creek the next day, knowing he survived.
Days felt long. I did not want to go to school. I always felt out of place now, like when the teacher did not remember that I could not deliver a Father’s Day card to anyone at my house and I felt too scared to tell her that, so I did the assignment anyway, at my desk. I felt so alone. I felt so different.
I felt such anger that I was so little and embarrassed because she could not remember and just save me from the awkwardness. But I also felt a strange wisdom that I could understand, what she so easily missed. I felt old, older than any of my friends, sometimes, and I felt more tired than the adults.
I threw the card in the trash, and my heart broke a little more. Because I did not know how to ask for help. And that is not what anyone in my family wanted for me, but I kept a lot inside, even when they tried to dig it out of my bones, my heart.
Because I had decided in a hospital room that the weight of the water falling in tears to the floor was too heavy of a burden to witness. So I had decided to be good — that was the solution. I would cause no harm, no stress. Somehow it could help. This moment is like ice, frozen in time. I did not want any more of that pain.
The pain of others amplified my own heartsick hurt. And I was drowning in it.
But, what I did not understand is that water also heals. It purifies. It clarifies, it reflects. It is our survival. When it is all gathered in one place, it can weigh us down, but it can also permit us to move through it.
My sister made me laugh. My other sister nurtured me. They took care of me along with my brother and my mother every minute of every day. They fought for me. They told me I was smart, and that I had a vivid imagination.
My mom told me stories about my dad and his fiery character, which she said our family needed, even though I told her that was usually what got me into trouble. But I knew we needed that fire coursing through our veins — that blood, that scarlet water.
And so water allows us to float forward to our dreams. Who knew?
If you don’t learn to move your tail back and forth and keep going forward through the most turbulent storms, you cannot get the sweet relief of quenching your thirst in turquoise waters, of watching the whales rise up with their mighty strength, of holding a puppy to teach him to swim.
I often envision catching the tears of others in a beautiful bowl, and when the crying is done, I throw the tears to the heavens. They fly like diamond-drops to the angels, who grasp them and transform them into light. The angels beam that light right back into the original hearts. The heart is the home for tears and the residence of love.
Get wet, get drunk on water. Get into the flow. Submerse yourself in the hope that lives inside fluid motion. When you are injured, swim in the current with the shark, the dolphin, the trout. Don’t be afraid of fear, don’t stop crying until you are done. Cry in the water.
Let yourself feel the stream you make through your life, your strength, your love, the lies you tell yourself, all coating your fishy skin. Dip your fins in the little waves and see how, little by little, you feel the transformation as the water blesses your swim. Glide effortlessly through the weightiest substance in the world, water.
Let its weight hold you up, let it quench your thirst, let it transform your soul. You are an old fish, traveling through time on the ancient seas, so let the waters carry you forward. Burst free from the saltiness of your bleeding pain, and shout your survival to the gulls flying over. Crash with force into your purpose, your calling.
Drink. Swim. Breathe water, warriors.
Maura Coyne is a seeker, a dirty wild horse girl, and a lover of the passionate life. She practices hypnotherapy, equine therapy and energy/breathwork to assist others in removing the blocks and obstacles that often prevent them from moving forward on their life path. Teaching others to transmute the heavy and dark challenges that they face, by moving them into the light of creativity, strength and spirit, she is committed to healing herself along the way, and witnessing miracles in Nature. If you are interested in a little soul archaeology of your own, contact her at Wild Goose Farm, named for her patriarchal Coyne ancestral line. She aspires to continue going on wild goose chases for the rest of her time on the planet.