Stoicism | Writing

Making a Splash

“Let us also produce some bold act of our own – and join the ranks of the most emulated.”
– Seneca

I felt the sting immediately.  Cold skin, chilled by the steady wind and the unusually cold temperatures, meeting warm air as I came back inside to start the coffee ritual.  Hands stiffly assembled the AeroPress and scooped coffee.  The price of another sunrise?  I could have watched the sunrise from the warmth of the house.  No, the sting comes from putting yourself out there, and receiving whatever comes back at you afterwards.  So be it.  I decided long ago to put myself out there, and to hell with the stings.

This morning I stood on the cold jetty awash in strong, biting winds awaiting that sunrise.  The approach of dawn is my favorite time, whether I’m being stung by biting winds or bitten by no-see-ums or some other such thing. It’s the price you pay for the moment at hand.  And this morning was particularly biting.  But I embraced it anyway.  The pandemic has kept me away from this place all year, and I’m not going to let a few minor irritants ruin it for me.  Before dawn the voices are my own, telling me to do more, and it’s when I’m most ready to hear the call.

Sunrise was still some time away, and I found myself drawn to a rock just off the jetty, awash in chop as the waves pounded and swirled around it.  I found it more compelling than the approaching sunrise and watched the wave action pound the rock as the wind action pounded me.  The rock stoically holds ground as wave after swirling wave slap at it.  It seems timeless, and will surely outlast me in this world, but eventually the waves will win out.  Time washes over everything eventually.

But isn’t that liberating in a way?  Time washes over us but still we must stand our ground and make something of ourselves, to share the light we see and produce something bold despite the wash and swirl and pounding.  We either stand up to the pounding or go with the flow, but where do we make our mark in this world?  The way to make a splash is to make a leap into the unknown or to hold your ground as the waves crash over you. Either way you’re paying a price.

Today is another day in a long string of days.  Its the only one that matters, really.  Despite the frenzy and the swirl and the biting winds and general indifference of the world, there’s that choice to let it sweep over you or to make your splash.  I’m not ashamed to say I’ve often gone with the flow because it’s easier than taking the pounding.  But I’m standing now.  Trying to produce some bold act of my own. Trying to make a splash. Shining a bit of light on the world, and to hell with the swirl.

 

 

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