• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 12
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Sleep Patterns

I was six years old the first time I saw the ocean. I remember the blue-gray hues of the waves, and the crisp chill of the water as it brushed past my toes. How the sky and sea appeared to be one after a certain point.

I remember too the soft sand of that beach in Cochin. The type of softness one's whole self can sink into. Like meeting a stranger you've always dreamt about. I recall the slow swaying of tall coconut trees, and the young boy selling wooden drums. I recall with fondness the vastness of that beach in Sydney. The colourful umbrellas obscuring the crowds. Forty-degree heat. Children and adults alike holding ice cream cones. How good it felt to be so small. That one beach in Lisbon, where the world felt simultaneously brighter and quieter. Tourists in sunglasses, caps, and baggy shirts. The aroma of fresh seafood. Loud laughter. A contrast from the stark quietness of that beach in Hoi An. Desolate, like a closing scene in an old black-and-white film. The only person in sight was an old man, white-haired, wading in the water, lost in his world. The faded signboards in French. The never-ending trail of seashells, all white.

There is something beautiful about how the sea never changes, no matter where you are. The way the waves move towards you, and away, and repeat. The sea foam creating patterns each time the ocean beckons and recedes. Each time attempting to tell a story, each time teaching the art of letting go.

A bell rings, and my thoughts shift from the sea to where I am in the present moment. I sit here in a chair, alone. The dim light streaming in through the windows tells me that it must be close to sunset.


Sleep Patterns

The walls around me are white. Bare. There isn't very much to do these days. I sit in my chair, I lie in my bed. I fall asleep, and I wake up. Sometimes, when I can muster enough strength in my hand, I write. I would like to be outdoors, but we are not allowed out unless accompanied. There isn't always someone. So most of the time I sit here in my chair, dreaming of the sea.