Between the Islands

If we are all islands, it is the water that connects us. To get to you, I have to move, in the water. I swim or go by boat. I can paddle or let myself drift. Either way, the water carries me to you and to us. I go out to sea, I expose myself to a storm or a lull in order to get away from myself to you. I dive into the sea, down under, and get baptized or purified before I reach you. In the island world, the water is our mother, not the earth. In the archipelago, the liquid binds our being, not the solid. It keeps the limbs supple and the spirit fluid, it flushes dreams from the depths and guides the songs of the whales into our hearts. Constantly changing forms and calling for our own agility. “Water is the element in which the living communicates,” an islander told me the other day when we met on the sea. Then we continued our journey, each alone in her canoe, with the silent expanse of the horizon around us, the home island already in view, and the soul soft as the groping wet that feels us inside.

Image Zvi Szir, ‹Island with a Purple Haze›, 61 × 46 cm, Gouache on paper, 2022

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