“Journals 001” by Shimi; March 2021

When I close my eyes, I imagine myself resting on the back of a massive crocodile on a day where the sun is shining particularly bright and the sand is radiating waves of heat. My arms are wrapped around the animal in a close embrace, and I can feel it’s tough, dark scales radiating an intense warmth against me. Its breaths are long and heavy, pressing it’s back against my chest and stomach with each occasional inhale and exhale. I run a hand along it’s sides, feeling the armored skin but also the smooth gentleness of its underbelly. We are traveling along the shoreline where palm trees can be seen just feet away and the vines of the jungle seem untamed and primitive. Looking at the rainforest in this state would make anyone wonder if this is the modern times or if we are living in the age of living fossils. When I am resting against the beast, it is easy to tell that there is dinosaur DNA within every one of its cells as I can feel its vocalizations before I hear them and I can feel the power of its tail and webbed feet fighting against the waves like a captain steering through the power of the world. 

The sea’s currents are bright blue and glisten in the heat of the noon sunlight. Fish dart around beneath the waves with shimmering scales which graciously reflect the light of the sun, reminding me that the sea is a mirrored reflection sometimes of the sky above. They remind me that the sea has seen skies unknown to me, and that it has housed lifeforms that will never be fully understood by mankind as most have ceased to exist millions of years ago. The beast beneath me however has seen those skies and witnessed those monsters of the cretaceous period, and holds a deep understanding of these shifts in time within its blood and bones, through its evolution and through rebirth across the eons. Most people would be afraid to be so vulnerable and bare in the presence of such an animal, but I feel as if we are one in the same in its ancientness and in its genetic makeup for our souls are of the same essence. I feel comfortable and at home, resting against its back as we travel to the lands that the ocean will choose for us and that time will tell of. The saltwater crocodile is one of the few animals who has chosen to spend its life in these waters, and I understand why every time I come home to them myself.

When I think of things like this, I am reminded that we cannot choose who we are nor the shape that our spirit takes. Sometimes the things that we want to be are not who we are at our core, and we must come to understand that if we want to learn how to accept ourselves and, most importantly, how to love ourselves. When we finally look ourselves in the eye, and that eye reflects back at us in a form different than what we had first hoped for or imagined it would be, we must sit down and take solace that that what we have seen is truly who we are. It is in the eyes of the raptor, predator, and beast that I have found my own soul and no amount of refuting these facts will change what I have been called to do since my very existence was created. If I want to accept myself, I must learn to accept who I am and find the ethics in the monsters of the water, for it is in those very monsters that we can find the most compassion, understanding, wisdom, and empathy despite the illusion that they are cruel. It has taken me a long time to understand this and it is still difficult to accept sometimes, but I understand that with this identity comes lessons to unlock from myself. It is a lesson on learning compassion, even when the blood of what I am runs cold. It may sound like a tough thing to undergo, but it is in fact a careful art that I can’t wait to create a masterpiece out of, with the final product being none other than myself and the soul that resides within becoming one with who I am in my physical flesh.