What will the creature made all of seadrift do on the dry sand of daylight; what will the mind do, each morning, waking? (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss. The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere, for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish hangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moon-driven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.

But here rise the stubborn continents. The shelves of gravel and the cliffs of rock break from water baldly into air, that dry, terrible outerspace of radiance and instability, where there is no support for life. And now, now the currents mislead and the waves betray, breaking their endless circle, to leap up in loud foam against rock and air, breaking…

What will the creature made all of seadrift do on the dry sand of daylight; what will the mind do, each morning, waking?

The first three paragraphs of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1971 novel The Lathe of Heaven.

2 thoughts on “What will the creature made all of seadrift do on the dry sand of daylight; what will the mind do, each morning, waking? (Ursula K. Le Guin)”

  1. The mind will remind that its power and will can enjoy the violence and freshness of the ocean without let being lost or diminish by it! There is a a strong difference between what you need and what you are! You are not a fish, are you?

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