“It’s Always Ourselves We Find In The Sea”

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

e.e. cummings


This is becoming one of my most favorite poems ever. ❤ I wasn’t even that aware of it a month ago. Then my boyfriend and I took a trip to Point Pleasant Beach and I came back feeling so different, so relaxed, so…me, and this line just started running through my head over and over again and it hasn’t stopped since. I had the same experience when we went down to Wildwood last week. Coming back from the beach–even when I had to drive three hours one way to get to work right after–I have never felt more refreshed and more in touch with myself and who I am and want to be than right after being in the ocean. It’s just…wow. Words fail me. I can’t begin to describe it other than to say this: the water washes away all stresses, all troubles. It takes whatever masks you put on in your day to day life, strips them away, and leaves you with the bare bones of who you are. If you’re a witch, you can’t go to the sea and not come back changed. You just can’t.

On my last day there I collected some sea stones from the beach. Smooth as can be from the water constantly washing over them and tumbling them, they will sit proudly in a cute little dish I bought in Cape May on my Freyja altar. Her connections to the water and the ocean aren’t talked about much. Usually people equate Her more with magick and battle and death and amber and sex. But, like Odin, Freyja is a being with many different interests and things under Her domain. (Besides, “cutting the Gods down” to only this attribute or that one is, I think, not seeing the full being. Like us, They have Their hands in many pots and Their personalities reach far and wide.) Though Freyja’s mother is unknown, we know Her father is Njord–a deity strongly associated with the sea. Another ocean connection.

I’ve long been debating my next tattoo (I have several that I want), and I think I’ve figured out what it will be: it’s always ourselves we find in the sea. I have known for awhile that I wanted a line of poetry tattooed on me at some point, though I wasn’t sure which line. Now that I know that, I need to decide where I want it and begin the process of saving up money for it.

Wildwood Beach Photo by Raven

Wildwood Beach
Photo by Raven

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