Thick convoluted clouds were drawing menacing shapes in a meaningless sky. In a song an eagle soared away, along with hopes and promises. Nothing in the early morning seemed to make sense. The scene outside the window was an abstraction. A few tables to the left, a math student was transferring long strings of numbers from loose sheets to a computer, as if numbers could make sense of our lives.

The night had offered very little sleep and dawn had brought bad dreams. Now coffee was finally infusing some soothing warmth into icy waters. But with a newfound peace, the questions as always came in focus.

How does one leave glory behind to settle into an anonymous existence? Will the dreams of furious seas and raging storms ever stop recurring, so fantastic now that they are free of substance but terrible when they were a reality? Can skin ever forget the fierce assault of a tropical sun, the burning caress of bright sandy beaches and the friendly sting of salt water? Will the call of the deep ever fade away or will it forever haunt me, enticing me to find dark and cold places to jump into, and be weightless, and be alone, and be free?

Those depths where life hangs on a thread, intense and full of purpose, how I miss them now that my whole life revolves around down-to-Earth realities. Buying groceries. Finding a cheap place to stay downtown. Making ends meet.

There is nothing as melancholic as a battle lost. Except, maybe, a battle won.