Moments of clarity are a rare occasion, but they happen. 

Often they stem from the side effects of a drunken night’s bliss, and they never last very long before the madness returns, but if I’m lucky, I am able to capture these brief moments in full sobriety.

Like sometimes, if I happen to find myself on the beach at night, I find a place in the sand entirely secluded from all people and noise and distraction. I sit directly on the shoreline, close enough to where the tide tickles my outstretched toes but far enough away so that it never reaches above my knees. 

The crash of the waves and the coolness they bring to my naked feet. The euphonious sound of a swelling and breaking surf. The way the sand crunches and slides between my fingers and toes. Boxes of light emitting from the rows of beachfront property intermingling with the darting glare of a far-off flashlight. And finally, the sky. A vast blackness dotted with twinkling starlight and satellites and the occasional passing airplane, all beneath the glow of a tide-commanding moon. That’s what captures me. 

I can almost see the curve of the world at the place where the black of the ocean meets the blue-blackness of the sky. The universe stretches out on all sides of me as the ocean and the night sky try to outdo one another for who can be more terrifying, mysterious, and beautiful all at once. I think about drowning in the ocean and floating around aimlessly in space. Which would take my breath away faster?

Then my mind travels to the idea of forever. And then the idea of existence. And then my mind feels too small to hold such large thoughts and my body feels too small to exist amongst such never-ending masses of water and beauty and space. And there I am feeling small and scared and important and irrelevant all at the same time. I am nothing and everything. I am secluded, yet somehow, I’m never alone. 

And there it is – my moment of clarity.