The paddle in my hands moves my craft where I need want it to be. I am adept as I weave with against the current ever forward. I steer navigate drift perfectly purposely. Rapids swirl out of nowhere. My vision fills only with the immediacy of the next rock the next bramble of fallen tree the nearest crash to avoid. With no eye towards an end I pilot only to the urgent. To survival. The light is gone. Replaced not by blackness but by a half light that dances shadows across my path. I paddle desperately still and the rock that throws me into the waves hits me hard. Unseen with no warning. The current is gone, replaced with an expanse of violent, churning water. It has delivered me to the ocean. I careen in the blackness that has fallen. The skies above me are swirling winds that howl and scream at me. I am rolled and tumbled in the freezing waters, the ocean gnaws at me, trying to swallow me whole. A torrent of rain pushes me down as heavy fingers from below attempt to draw me ever more insistently into the depths. I fight but I’m not sure why anymore. I struggle to reach the surface again when I don’t even care if I drown. Bursting through the surface. The thick of the black now mere a gossamer silk covering as I capture breath deeply into my lungs. Storms rage on in the waves while swirling currents below soften ever so slightly. Time is lost to me. I am under again as endless swells knead me into the folds of the sea. The sky is twilight now as I burst through yet again. The crests of the waves surround me, visible among the breaks that now live within them. I can see it coming now and I ready myself. A second to brace before they send me reeling. Breath has a chance to fill my body before I am tossed within again. I am treading water in the growing light. The sky is softer, quieter. The slowly heaving sea is never-ending as my eyes watch the swells that grow from afar. I see them as they approach now, no longer blindsided. The storm is releasing its grip. The wave rears up in front of me blocking any glimpse of dim light. I am small in its shadow. Almost invisible. I face it, moving to meet it. I swim hard, forcefully. To meet it. I dive. Into it. Under it. Deep and strong. Knowing now that there is calm on the other side of it. And that I will reach it.