“There is a moment when you wake up from dreaming in the hot sun, a moment outside time when you do not know what you are. At first, because you feel absolutely free, as if you could transform yourself into anything at all, it seems that you must be money. But then you feel the hot breath of something on your face and it seems that no, you are not money, you must be that hot breeze blowing in from the sea. It seems that the heaviness you feel in your limbs is the weight of the salt in the wind, and the sweet sleepiness that bewitches you is simply the weariness that comes from the day-and-night pushing of waves across the ocean.
But next you realize that no, you are not the breeze. In fact you can feel sand drifting against your bare skin. And for an instant you are the sand that the breeze blows up the beach, just one grain of sand among the billions of blown grains. How nice to be inconsequential How pleasant to know that there is nothing to be done. how sweet simply to go back to sleep, as the sand does, until the wind thinks to awaken it again.
But then you understand that no, you are not the sand, because this skin that the sand drifts up again, this skin is your own. Well then, you are a creature with skin-and what of it? it is not as if you are the first creature that fell asleep under the sun, listening to the sound of waves pounding. A billion fishes have slipped away like this, flapping on the blinding white sand, and what difference will one more make?
But the moment carries on, and you are not a fish dying-in fact you are not even truly sleeping-and so you open your eyes and look down on yourself and say Ah, so I am a girl, then, an African girl.
This is what I am and this is how I will stay, as the shape-changing magic of dreams whispers back into the roar of the ocean. “