Finding order within chaos is one of human-kind’s most beautiful abilities. Michael Shermer, in How We Believe, calls our brains “evolved pattern-recognition machines that connect the dots and create meaning out of the patterns.” Over hundreds of thousands of years we became better and better at recognizing the panther in the bush. Early Homo sapiens relied on this ability to distinguish threat from the benign. We crave the regularity.
Nowadays we hardly flex these pattern-recognition muscles in the wild. We sit behind desks staring at screens illuminated with order. Humans drive in between yellow lines on carefully planned streets stopping at the octagon and going on green. Order has been handed to an animal that thrives on finding its own rhythm. Enter the Ocean.
When I step into liquid I am free from the artificial constraints of a product driven society. My nervous system is overwhelmed by the sensory embrace. I find myself briefly lost in the dopamine. The water-world has different rules and it takes a minute to adjust. I’m in it to catch the waves, but its the rhythm of the Ocean I find most settling. The heartbeat of the Ocean rises and falls, like a metronome for the soul.