Beach Ecstasy

Yesterday at the beach I had a brief moment, extremely pleasurable, which perhaps approximated a certain type of ecstasy, as described by E. M. Cioran in an essay I had read a couple of days earlier: "This class of ecstasy (extasis in the Spanish translation of the original French) gives us neither an explicit certainty nor a definitive knowledge; but the feeling of an essential participation is so intense that it goes beyond all the limits and categories of habitual knowledge. It's as if... a door had been opened and through it we see the very nucleus of existence and are able to apprehend it through the most simple and essential vision, in the most extraordinary metaphysical rapture." (I wrote a little about Cioran in an earlier entry but I can't find it right now...) Well, perhaps that's slightly overstated; nonetheless, the moment impressed me greatly and a shadow of it stayed with me. We had gone towards Nerja with Daniela to have some relaxing beach time, and we certainly found it: a lovely little strip of sand where there were only a small handful of other beach goers. After about an hour or so, having been in the water, read a little, and had a sandwich, I was just staring at the water as it reached its limit on the shore a few feet in front of me. Over and over. The sound and movement became hypnotic. The reflections of the bright midday light on the sand and stones carried me to an almost trance-like state. I thought for a moment of another recent reading, an essay on the "architectures of desire" in which the author recalls how hindus have over 330 million gods and goddesses. A god for almost everything. Why not? So I figured it would be o.k. to add one more to the pantheon: Irma, goddess of the little stone on a Mediterranean beach that reflects the sunlight with particular style. And then it happened: for just a moment, everything was... gone? Time, thought, self-awareness... I was so gone I was there. Nowhere? You know, part of the universe without the weight of it all, without the needs of the self. But of course, it can't possibly last. Time imposes its unforgiving law. Tic-toc, tic-toc... But you come back to yourself thinking, hey, wasn't that nice. Could we go again? The universe rolls on, or out. We're forever on an outbound train, no? Luckily for me, it's been a very pleasurable ride so far, so there's no lament. Now I can keep looking for the next "ecstasy". Encore, maestro! Later, back in Málaga, whoever prepared us the patatas al mojo picón at the bar Garum last night came pretty close to provoking a quick return to the "metaphysical rapture", which on occasion I hear echoes of in Waldo's baritone bark.