Violin Excerpt * The sea – Anne Rice

I dreamed of the sea by the full light of the sun, but such a sea I’d never known.
The land was a great cradle in which this sea moved, as the sea at Waikiki or along the coast south of San Francisco. That is, I could see distant arms of land to left and right, reaching out desperately to contain this water.


But what a fierce and glistening sea it was, and under such a huge and pure sun, though the sun itself I couldn’t see, only the light of it. The great waves came rolling in, curling, full of green light for one instant before they broke and then each wave did a dance-a dance-I’d never witnessed.
A great frothy foam came from each dying wave, but this foam broke into great random peaks, as many as six to eight for one wave, and these peaks looked like nothing so much as people-people made of the glistening bubbles of the foam-reaching out for the real land, for the beach, for the sun above perhaps.

Over and over, I watched the sea in my dream. I knew I was watching from a window. And I marveled and tried to count the dancing figures before they would inevitably die away, astonished at how well formed of foam they became, with nodding heads and desperate arms, before they lapsed back as if dealt a mortal blow by the air, to wash away and come again in the curling green wave with a whole new display of graceful imploring movements.
People of foam, ghosts out of the sea-that’s what they looked like to me, and all along the beach for as far as I could see from my safe window, the waves all did the same; they curled, green and brilliant, arid then they broke and became the pleading figures, some nodding to each other, and others away, and then turning back again into a great violent ocean.

Seas I’ve seen, but never a sea where the waves made dancers. And even as the evening sun went down, an artificial light flooded the combed sand, the dancers came still, with heads high and long spines and arms flung beseechingly landward.
Oh, these foamy beings looked so like ghosts to me-like spirits too weak to make a form in the concrete world, yet strong enough to invest for a moment in the wild disintegrating froth and force it into human shape before nature took it back.
How I loved it. All night long I watched it, or so my dream told me, the way dreams will do. And then I saw myself in the dream and it was daytime. The world was alive and busy. But the sea was just as vast and so blue I almost cried to look at it.


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