arena of sound

by Aqeela Naqvi

life is easy when the silence is deafening. but one day, things will change, and you’ll find that you can hear—and when you do, you’ll hear the roar of your soul. and it will be frightening. frightening, like when, after years of swimming, you reach the surface; and, breaking through, realize that the ocean’s voice does not murmur, but thunder. it will be frightening, to face the fear that has kept you submerged and lulled you to sleep and made you an observer in your own life. it will be far easier to close your ears again, to return to the ocean’s shadowy depths, to embrace the water’s hushed whispering rather than its wild crash and roll. to refuse to sing with abandon the ocean’s untamed song for fear of shattering the silence.

but by choosing silence, submergence, letting the the ocean carry your weight where it may, you will also choose drowning—the stifling of your voice, the water’s slow suffocation of your dreams.

this defeat is easy; it is choosing victory that is hard.

strength has never been in underwater stands; it was born in the arena where the horizon meets the sea—in breaking the surface, in fighting to breathe, in salt-licked wounds, the threading constellations of silver scars…