In the barrel.

Photo credit: Clark Little Photography.

Things are busy.

As part of novel research, I’m reading this wonderful book called The Wave by Susan Casey, which follows extreme surfers around the world. She describes the holy hush that surfers feel when they’re in a wave: “Inside the barrel, a place that surfers regard with reverence, light and water and motion add up to something transcendent. It’s an exquisite suspension of all things mundane, in which nothing matters but living in that particular instant.”

It felt weirdly familiar. I go about my life very deliberately, with plenty of journaling and processing and planning; but if I try to convey what life actually feels like, it’s that I’ve been in the barrel of a wave for months, seeking the welcoming edge and just barely keeping ahead of the chaos of things-undone, life-unlived crashing behind me.

When did I enter it? Maybe back when I returned from Costa Rica. Or back further, when I quit my terrible job at Catalent. Or even further, when I left my then-boyfriend’s house to get on a plane to Ethiopia. That feels right: when I let go of the tow rope.

So I’ve been in the barrel for almost four years.

I wonder whether life will always be like this.



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