What Sharks and I Share
Updated: Jun 1, 2022
It is said that in the ocean, some sharks must swim to survive. If they don’t glide forward, sweeping their heavy collagen fins across the water, traversing miles of ocean, their elegant gills will cease their petal-like movement and the sharks will sink to the ocean’s deep belly, forgotten forever.
I, too, cannot keep still.
It is said that in the ocean, some sharks must swim to survive. But I wonder if they ever tire of gliding forward, sweeping their heavy collagen fins across the water, miles of ocean. I wonder if the constant movement dizzies their mind, exasperating their small eyes and sharp, earnest teeth. Do they ever stop in a warm, blue place and allow themselves to look up instead of constantly forward? What if they keep their noses upturned to the surface of the ocean as they sink, watching their cerulean world becoming more vast with every passing moment? Do they weep when they finally reach the bottom? Do their tears fall from joy?
It is said that in the city’s deep belly, sharks like me must snap their spines to survive. We must bite at every opportunity that comes our way, sinking our teeth into luxury and success. I am tired after centuries of rushing forward, pushing my aching fins across imaginary finish lines. Will the moment ever come when I can stop in a warm, blue place and allow myself to gaze at the sun? What if I called out of work? What would happen if I no longer oiled my hair or washed my feet? Would I weep when I stop swimming? Would tears of joy drag me down into the depths of the sea?
Sharks, too, cannot continue forever.
Once their fins graze the sand in the absolute darkness, they may realize they never intended to drown at all. Maybe they just wanted to be still.
Edited by: Maia McDonald