A bench in the middle of the ocean

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Imagine a world with nothing solid in it. Everything is fluid, everything is constantly changing, in shape, colour and consistency. Everything is moving, pulsing with life. Everywhere you look, there’s a never-ending ocean, made up of endless waves and undercurrents. And the infinite sky above it, linked to the ocean by floating clouds of all shapes and sizes on the horizon — just big balloons of water and light playing together.

It’s not a dream or an imaginary world. It’s our mind. Or the way we should perceive our mind and the reality in which we live.

When I was really young, I was longing for a bench in the middle of the ocean. An obvious metaphor for some kind of stability, an unmovable object or place to give me safety in a chaotic, ever-changing world.

Twenty years later I realised a bench in the middle of the ocean is not only possible, but it’s not even desirable. You’re better off taking that piece of wood and anything else you can get your hand on and building yourself a surf board, then a raft, then a boat and so on until you end up with a real ship — if you have to.

Because the trick is not to find something steady to hold on to, but something to help you float on the waves of life.