Who is the sea, and who am I?

Guaymas, Sonora. Mexico. Ernesto Valero Thomas (EVTh)

Borges, the great Borges, wrote:

Before our human dream (or terror) wove

Mythologies, cosmogonies, and love,

Before time coined its substance into days,

The sea, the always sea, existed: was.

Who is the sea? Who is that violent being,

Violent and ancient, who gnaws the foundations

Of earth?  He is both one and many oceans;

He is abyss and splendor, chance and wind.

Who looks on the sea, sees it for the first time,

Every time, with the wonder distilled

From elementary things – from beautiful

Evenings, the moon, the leap of a bonfire.

Who is the sea, and who am I?  The day

That follows my last agony shall say.

(translation by John Updike)

Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Poems (The Sea

), translated by John Updike, edited by Alexander Coleman, New York: Penguin Books, 2000, p. 241.

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