Crossing the line, son of Neptune, slickened by the spray and smiling for the kiss of Amphitrite; housed in steel, sealed in pressurized space, you travel the deep places and see things most would not notice. I smile for such sightings; all submerged bubbles and fresh corals and stingrays.
Taking over, a usurpation of tradition and transition, temporarily tolerated as a rite that begets rights; becoming and belonging and brotherhood rolled in green sea dye and placed in watery coffins; a tryst with Davy Jones for the acceptance and amusement of the tribe.
Crossing the line, son of the shore, weary for the earth-shaking hand and longing to be a drop of water; unrecognizable amongst the ocean, buoyed and bouncing in quiet, cushioned brine, the place where comfort is found and all things may float, weightless and free of the pull of life; all its heavy, land-lubber gravity riven; nestled naked, nourished by nothing more than being, than breath.
Trade legs for fins and wriggle free; spin giddy, widening waves beneath the surface; draw water through gills and flex forward, casting unblinking eyes above to witness the shimmer of sunlight that drops shadows around you; A cloak of grace, of hiding, of peace; no sound but the slow, sluggish pulse of blood and the feeling of its echoes, caressing scales instead of skin.
Crossing the line, solitary submersion, a flash of silver in the deeps; all skittish and restless contradiction, the thoughts are no less loud; sonar rather than sound, they travel, rippling with persistence, following like a wake that knows not the meaning of sleep.
Fellow or fish, liege or layman, no matter the frame in which you set yourself, the pattern remains and repeats; crossing the line, paying tribute and toll to tidal lords and tribesmen, giving up flesh or fillets, still, there is no boundary but the one you set, no line upon which you truly tread, no passage but the one that returns you, again and again, to yourself.
Crossing the line, the illusory boundary, beyond which dreams and destiny await; running in circles, each pass more desperate, a tether bound to the world against which all beings strain.
Crossing the line, a tradition of transience; moving from one form to another as if they are not the same; the only difference, that which is created within; an invisible abyss over which brotherhood leaps in the name of binding.
Crossing the line, a dream of transcendence; to be more than the solitary submerged, more than the singular fish, more than brain, blood, and bone confined; to be connected and contained, to find wholeness and welcome that lasts as long as the tides; ebbing or rising, the pull of camaraderie, a sensation; that you are the sons of gods, that your striving is substantial and sustainable, that the sense of shared experience mends the nets and in them, retains worthy things.
Crossing the line, pollywog to shellback, swimsuits and silks, finding humor in the belief that the only beauty you hold rests in your togetherness; when, in fact, it follows all you do, for the poignant thought that you are ever anything other than beautiful is the true line that you ache to cross in any moment, in every moment.
Crossing the line? No need. You crossed it long ago and you are already there; humble heroes, salty, sea-washed strangers who seem only to know yourselves when saluted by others. I recognize of you that which you only see when crossing the line and, for all the ways you never realize it, for all the times you think it’s ahead, for all the ways that your every days make the world a better place, from afar, from upon the shoreline, from across the waves, oh sons of Neptune, I salute you.