The Laughing Sea
In Siddhartha, one of the passages that struck me the most was the description of the titular character’s relationship the river, on which he was a ferryman. Having already lived as a Brahmin, then an ascetic, then a rich man, his simple existence on the river at the end of his life was the final stage in his journey, the place he came to once he’d found his middle path. He no longer practised the extreme self-restriction of the śramaṇa ascetics, but nor did he allow himself the equally extreme indulgences of a wealthy merchant. When faced with emotional turmoil, the river spoke to him and spoke to him and spoke to him, and eventually he began to listen. Once he did, he heard the river laughing at him. And when he listened some more, on that laughter he heard the Om, and understood the oneness of everything, and became enlightened.
Unfortunately, there are no rivers for me to hear laughing in Guernsey, so it seems that my next step towards nirvana must be taken elsewhere. I am surrounded by the sea though, and I like the idea of listening for its laughter instead. Perhaps in the time I have left on the island, if I lend my ear to the sea, it’ll whisper back some of its secrets.