Residency day 33: oceanic rite of passage. Duarte, the clumsy midget who carries my paintbrushes, insists I undertake it. This time, all my friends are there. They see me get knocked over by the wave, slip and fall off the rock and into the ocean. I hit my back and foot but manage to clear my head. I tumble with no sense of direction, the wave pressing me to the bottom, then twirling me around. I roll into a ball, protecting head and knees. I let the current decide which way to take me. Finally it lets go. I'm in pain but swim for a bit, grateful to be alive. After a few minutes of connecting with the water, I come out. Scratched, bruised, but unbroken. Oddly relaxed and strengthened. Something intense just happened. For a few seconds, I engaged with a powerful reality: the raw force of nature. I'm alive. Duarte gives a hug, pinches my nose and passes a pipe.