The idea of a beginning gives a false sense of security. It feels like an artifice of fiction, the tidy division of events into chapters for a novel. But beginnings are only a human construct, useful for bookending a story, a stage, a journey; as though a life or a journey can be neatly marshalled into a tidy shape.
But athough I distrust the notion of beginnings, I hang onto them all the same. I often think about the beginning of a love affair with the ocean. It seems important, to think about how this began.
Ironically, it feels as though the love of the ocean arose because of a love of the land and of horses. This love led to early mornings when racehorses skirted the waves on the beach, day after day. On these mornings the ocean became unexpectedly important, though perhaps you didn’t notice this until later. From there, the rest is inevitable: the first voyage on a tall ship, the movement of the ocean ceaselessly in your thoughts.
Yet before all of this you had sailed on the ocean unaware, lacking conscious memory, part of a different beginning. And before that there was the ocean itself, stretching back to its own distant ‘beginnings’, far far away in geological time.