Introducing JL Ralston
Musing the Muse
Standing on the Cliff

(For my friend Richard)
by J.L. Ralston

We are drawn to the ocean. The ebb and flow of emotions. The waves are our thoughts. And the deep blue sea is the unknown part of us that we so want to connect with. Our soul.

Every little wave brings with it another emotion. Drifting. Turmoil on the surface, peace and tranquillity in the depths.

And so we look to the ocean wanting to know what is out there. What is happening in those depths that we cannot see? We think we are passing time looking at beautiful scenery but really we are looking in to our own souls, trying to find what is there. To glimpse the jewel.

Watching the waves.

Ripples on the surface.

They come and go.

The depth does not change. It is serene. Waves break as they hit the shore and disappear as if they never existed. Without a trace. As one disappears another is building up, without us even being aware.

And so it starts over again.

They come and go.

Some are small and gentle.

The reverberations so subtle.

Others are tidal waves that thrash us about until we are thrown up onto the sand.

Spent and exhausted.

The sea of love and kindness. The sea of our souls.

And the dolphins and whales we envy because they live in the soul of the sea. It is their place in the universe that we long for. That we wish we could live in.

But instead we sit on the cliff tops and contemplate the enormity of diving into our souls. The frightening aspect of jumping off our perch and immersing ourselves in the deep darkness of the ocean. It is safer to sit and observe in the delusion that we are participating. We can smell the salt air and feel the breeze around us. But it is not enough. We are never truly connected until we jump off our cliffs and fall into the deep abyss of our souls.

And for those who dive in there is an immediate sense of drowning. Of not being able to come up for air. The knowledge of never being an observer again. For once you have tasted the depth there is no going back. The sea is nurturing. It is the reward. And you want it more. More of the depth. More of the bliss. And without a life jacket you are taken further down until you finally reach that place that is serene. That place we all yearn for.

On our island we are surrounded by our oceanic soul. And all it takes is one small plunge. Into the depths.

JL Ralston (Byron Bay 2001)