The Amazing Atlantic

I stand on a small square of Daytona Beach, a beach that runs for miles and miles, and consider the mighty Atlantic Ocean spread out before me. I’ve only been to the ocean a few times in my life. Though I grew up within walking distance of Lake Michigan, no piker in the vast body of water contest, I realize the ocean has no equal. It is King. My morning walk on the hard sand is two miles in one direction, an about face, then two miles back to the hotel. During the sixty-eight minute hike, I think about the book I’m writing, the plot, the characters, the pacing, the setting; I think myself into a funk.

I convince myself I will never be published because I do not have a perfect handle on all of the craft’s elements and who would want to read my stupid story anyway? I frequently think this way about myself and my avocation. This day–the first morning of a brief stay on the beach to celebrate our marriage of 20 years–after bashing my self-esteem, I stop and take this picture of the Atlantic. And for some reason, I do not feel tiny and insignificant in relation to its vast ocean-ness, a response often voiced upon viewing.

Instead, I have a sense of perfection of place. A surge of self-confidence grabs at me, much as a wave washes over my bare toes and then recedes, the drag it creates always a surprise. If ever there was an artistic pursuit forged in process, it is writing. I ride the curve of my own wave, impatient for the peak and frustrated with every spill. I learn every day to start over, keep practicing and hold the journey close.

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