Images by Mari­na Weiner

It was dark and I was crav­ing absolution.

Online, peo­ple trad­ed words like mag­i­cal,” incred­i­ble,” once in a lifetime.”

I drove south, fol­low­ing their geo­t­ags. I need­ed to feel their awe.

If I could just see the water glow, I knew I would nev­er be lone­ly again.

On the beach, waves roared in from the black night to greet me.

I stud­ied them. I begged them to be what I needed.

I wait­ed.

I saw a glim­mer, or I didn’t. Either way, the blan­ket of dark swal­lowed me whole.

I sighed with relief. I was so hap­py to be alone.

This piece was pub­lished by NuRoots in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jew­ish Book Coun­cil as part of NuRoots’ Awe in a Flash project for In Awe — sev­en weeks of vir­tu­al gath­er­ings and D.I.Y. expe­ri­ences that explore a sea­son of expan­sive­ness, reflec­tion, and aston­ish­ment. See the oth­er pieces here and here

An ini­tia­tive of the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion of Greater Los Ange­les, NuRoots mobi­lizes and inspires peo­ple in their 20s and 30s to cre­ate mean­ing­ful Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty across L.A.

Mari­na is an artist liv­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is cur­rent­ly pur­su­ing an MFA in ceram­ic sculp­ture at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Long Beach.