You’ve been diving in the same place for a while now.
With time, you’ve collected the prettiest of all the rocks. You keep them underwater because you don’t like how they look above the surface.
Your rock pile.
Each day, when you submerge, you notice (and have come to expect) some of the rocks are scattered, perhaps stolen. You spend the day looking for them. And usually find them. Sometimes you have enough time and energy left over to look for more.
But the pile has to stop growing because you can only swim so far before you lose sight of it and risk having it disrupted. All that work, all those days.
As boredom takes ahold, you yearn to see more, to find more rocks, so you come up with an idea:
You’ll swim with the rocks.
You gather up your pile in your arms and hands, under your chin. And off you go, kicking your legs. You go a little farther than the perimeter you’re used to.
You see new things. It’s exciting and scary.
But your arms and hands are full. You can’t pick up a new rock without dropping an old one. And you don’t know this place so putting the rocks down is risky. That thing that takes them away each day, maybe it lives here. Maybe there are more of them.
You turn to go back.
It is difficult to swim with your arms full of rocks. You cannot extend your hands. You cannot go very far.
It is painful, not so much the weight your rocks, but knowing now what’s out there, recognizing your limited breaths, your full arms, and having to move past all of those vibrant, silky fishes without running your fingers across their scales.