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The book of beginningsGenesisAbout this imageThe birth of an ocean (detail)

The birth of an ocean
The birth of an ocean

I used to be a fish, that much I remember. I used to live in water (surprise). Water meant a lot to me (surprise, surprise). No you don't get it. Don't give me that smirk. As a human being, I live surrounded by air, but I only know it's there when I don't have enough of it (or when there's too much of it). Otherwise, air is a neutral medium. Water is not.

At the time I speak of, there was no dry land, and no one to go fishing. We, the fish, were insouciant beings, fearing only the bigger fish (and there has always been a bigger fish). Water was our God. We not only lived in water, but water carried us, water fed us, water carried our sperm and eggs to their fate. The only mystery was, where did water stop ? Was there an end to it ? The ocean was bottomless. The upper layers of the sea were taboo. Every time one of us started swimming up, it soon came back, frightened by the descending pillars of light, suffocating from the almost boiling liquid. We believed that Hell was upstairs. We stood in awe and stayed in the comfortable darkness.

One day someone found the bottom of the sea, quite by accident. I remember its family growing legs, and slowly climbing up a rock wall, generation after generation, until the water was warm and transparent, and the other world started shining through. They sent us daily reports. This was not Hell, they said. Land felt good under their