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"The Wrecking Ground, pt. 10" by Lee Huttner

"The Wrecking Ground" is an essay told in parts by Lee Huttner. We will be publishing a new part each week on our blog. Stay tuned!


It is impossible to look out on a broad expanse of water—sea, or lake, or pond—without feeling as though something has been lost. Water is penetrable, but inscrutable; it clings to and has its way with the light; far beneath its surface one realizes the illusion of transparency, as its most benthic reaches are all darkness.

Water is so like a living thing, too. It moves as though of its own accord. It has a face. In its presence, one senses knowledge, a dark knowledge, curious probing eyes roving across your flesh. A deep and silent wisdom.

Breaching the water’s surface is a violent transgression. Humans hardly belong there. And yet, how we are drawn to it. To plunge, to wade, to dip, to float, to swim. We do not understand the limits of our bodies until we are in water. It restricts our movement, changes our weight. Like a lens, it distorts our ability to see.

And it covers us. Enshrouds us. Every point on our skin’s surface is touched by it. And it wants nothing more than to enter us. Water will take the shape of its vessel. There is space within us for it to fill.

We approach the water wondering what we have lost, enter the water to find it. A preposterous proposition: to seek for that which we do not know has been lost.

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