Stand on the beach and look out at the ocean. Step into the surf, curl your toes in the sand and walk forward until you're waist deep in the ocean. Look down and see your self reflected by the surface, see the sunlight glint golden off the crests of the ripples made by your body, the bodies of others, of the speedboat in the distance.

Sit overlooking a lake at sunset. Sip a bottle of beer if it's warm, a mug of coffee if it's cold. Marvel at the lake, still as glass, reflecting the sun, the hills covered by trees. Sit and watch as the sun sets and the stars come out, perfectly reflected points of diamond light. The lake is so still, it reflects so perfectly--if you were Narcissus, you would wander to the edge of the water, and look down to fall in love. How could you ever have imagined being in love with him? Looking back on it now, it seems much clearer, you were in love with the way he looked at you, the way he touched you, but it was all about you, and the way that you could control him and make him do the things he hated himself for... it seems so coarse to say that it was all an ego trip, and perhaps there was more to it than that, but all I really wanted to do was see myself reflected in your eyes.

Dreams are like water if reality is like light-- they show us a version of ourselves, of the world that we can never completely trust. An optical illusion that allows us to reach for things that aren't there, that cause the bottom of a lake to appear inches below our fingertips when there are meters between them. Dreams are an ocean, a lake, or a nightmare of a waterfall, leading us to the inevitable conclusion as we grasp for something to hold on to as terror mounts in our chest until we wake up, sweating and gasping for breath.

Now imagine the same ocean in which you were standing at the start, imagine it angry as forces beyond you and your tiny body work on it until it rips, breaks, and hurls itself onto the shore. If you were out there now, you would be drenched by rain, whipped by wind, but you watch the scene with impassioned eyes through a window, you find it beautiful because the real maelstrom is the ebb and flow of emotions inside of you, because something is happening to you and you can't figure out how to feel about it. Let the storm wash away the physical pain, the guilt, as well as the joy. This is one way we live life, turning everything into white noise and pulling the pieces out of it later, when we are alone.