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The Depths

Keep digging. There's treasure underneath.

Dearest Doodle Soupsters,

I stare up at the ceiling. Take a look over at the window. Cars pass on the bridge. It's this steady motion. Back and forth. Back and forth. No traffic in either direction. Cars glide toward one end. Cars glide toward the other.

Lapping ocean waves bubble up on the shore. And then, the wave pulls back, revealing the sand underneath along with traces of my footprints.

Grief feels like sinking into the depths of the ocean. My toes dig into the sand. Tears fall. I fall right through, right into the earth, feet first. Submerged. Carried into this underworld.

Grief feels like sitting cross-legged on the ocean floor, still alive, still breathing. And I sit here at the bottom of the ocean waiting for nothing. Just existing. Just feeling. Just watching the glimpse of sunlight as it dances on the surface, miles and miles away. I’ll swim up again. Just not now. Now, I rest. Now, I take in the depths.

Grief pulls me deep down under and I let it. Because I get it now. I won’t be crushed under the weight of its reality. I let myself be carried down, down, down. And I stay here as long as I need.

Bottom of the sea.

Sometimes, regular speech doesn't do the feeling justice. Sometimes, we must speak and listen through poetry, through art. To truly say it. To truly hear it. To reach the depths. To say it like you really mean it. To take in the gravity, the depth.

I speak in swooping lines carved into layers of paint. I speak in brushstrokes. I speak in collage.

And sometimes, I must say the same thing over again. Because when I do, I go a little deeper.

I reach my hands out as far as I can. I let my wrist and arms get dirty as I do. I grab mounds of sand. I watch the tiny grains filter through my fingers.

When I was very young, the sandbox transfixed me. All I wanted to do was dig, build sandcastles, touch the sand, see what it could create.

Why do things fall apart to come back together again? When a heart breaks, does it shatter or does it scatter like grains of sand?

I wondered — why the sandbox? Why seashells? Why the sensation of just barely touching the surface of the water with my palms? Why sea foam?

My fascinations aren't really that surprising though. There is something in nature that reflects the depths of the soul. There is something in the ordinary, in the details, in the everyday happenings of this world — that if you can learn how to dig around, you will find treasure everywhere. Looking closely at anything can yield a trove of awe, wisdom, intrigue.

I wrote the following for the description of my Layers series:

How much of what we perceive has to do with depth? The willingness to peel back layers and to look underneath? To scratch the surface, get a peek, and then keep digging deeper and deeper and deeper?

Healing feels like an ongoing process of peeling back layers and building new ones. To lift a mossy rock and dig through the dirt underneath. And to build a home where I can be free on newfound solid ground.

What fascinates you? What drives your wonderings? What tends to stir up your curiosity? What do your depths look like, feel like? What do these artworks ("Bottom of the sea," "Stitches," and "Freedom Rings") mean to you? What do you see?

These are today's reflection questions. As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me.

With love from the depths of my soul,

Nicole Sylvia Javorsky


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