The Water's Edge

Below is the short story "At the Water's Edge" written by our dear friend Sami Neagu. This short story inspired us to write the song of the same title. 

I am thankful for this story, for writing the song with Sami, and for his friendship!

At the Water’s Edge (a journey to sobriety)

There is a cold wind biting at my face, there at the water’s edge.

The rocks beneath me are unstable. They shake as I adjust my feet in uncertainty. 

I am afraid of the journey, though a raft floats close to the shore. Will it hold me? Is it strong enough?

The land behind is desolate. I have lived there many years, grabbing at objects of dust, collecting incessantly in my obsession. I have no nourishment. Though I fill my stomach with the rotten fruit of the barren land, I am empty. 

The starved are all around me. We strive to collect more and more dust. We revel in it, realizing not that we are rolling around in the staining dirt, and that our faces and hands are soiled, our grins contrived, and our bodies shriveled and useless.

There is a sea before me, and there floats the raft, at the water’s edge. 

I am afraid to wade into the water to reach the raft, for all the dust I have fought, scrapped, and struggled to gain will be washed away. All I know will be gone once I climb that raft. 

So I stand there, ready to turn around, there at the water’s edge .

I look behind me and the land, and dust, and dead fruit all call to me. And I reach a moment of immense struggle. 

And then a breeze blows softly across the water, as the raft bobs slightly in the calm sea, and I smell the fresh aroma that comes from beyond the water’s edge. 

For that instant, the putrid stink of the land is gone, and I am awed by a brief moment of sanity, of clarity.

So I close my eyes, and take my first step of faith into the sea from the water’s edge, and I see the dust wash away from my foot, cleansing my toes as I wiggle them in wonder. 

Then my other foot goes in and soon I am wadding, then quickly swimming through the quiet waters, leaving a trail of dust behind that soon disappears beneath the surface and is gone, forever. 

I reach the raft and there is a hand there to pull me up. And I look about me and see that it is no raft at all but a giant arc floating on that still water, and there are faces all around me, with not a spot of dust upon their completion.

I look back to see that water’s edge, and the land beyond, now seeming so dead and insignificant, and I smile, my first genuine smile, free from dust and full of joy. 

There is a water’s edge that many reach, and see the raft that bobs slightly in the distance, and they turn away, back to the dust, to the rotten fruit that does not fill, and I watch them, with tears and compassion. 

And I realize that we can bring anyone to the water’s edge but we cannot push them in. Every person must choose to swim for the raft, or die in the dust. 

There is a water’s edge, where many come, but few enter. But the raft still floats there in the freshness of the breeze, waiting patiently. 

Samuel Neagu ©2011.