Reflection on Water

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Reflection on Water. Vancouver, BC by Lionel Phillippe


A softness opens within me
Mirrored deftly by a wind that
Envelopes my skirt and
Lifts a hair off my brow

The more I let go
The subtler I become
Welcomed joyously as a child
Dashes to the surf

No resistance to the careful way
Spirt rearranges my soul
Look how pliable and
Permeable I am!

I grow upwards a great seaweed forest
Blooming beneath summer waves
So porous that light – refracts
Passing through and pooling in my hands
Dhyana Mudra

Laughter reverberates off every wall
Yet a warm dark nothingness is plain and
So deep it can’t be touched
Love ever present

I skid across its quiet, mysterious surface
A reflection, a flicker
A precious nugget of time
A single tick on an infinite clock

See my light dance
Wave to wind
Wind to wave
I am this for only a second

Time passes, I grow softer still
Till one day I am so gentled
I slip back into the deep
A shaft of light
Embraced fully, richly
By a more loving tide

Pirate Booty

State Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island: Photos by Noelle

State Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island: Photos by Noelle

A seagull attempted to land on it as a perch, but the top was too thin so the tough scavenger flew off. It appeared to be a marker, maybe to someone’s pirate booty, or a child’s war ship against the tide the day before. Now it stood lone and bare in the morning light. Treasure Island and Billy Bones floated through my mind, as I came upon it. As a child I loved the N.C. Wyeth paintings from the story and would look at them for hours making up my own pirate adventures.

N.C. Wyeth illustrations from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

N.C. Wyeth illustrations from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Like my fantasies of childhood I found the beach full of little mysteries as dawn came upon it. Crabs battling in tide pools, shell paintings and this monstrous sand castle still erect and undisturbed by the night’s tide. A stalwart stronghold made with little more than hands and buckets. Having recently started dabbling with sculpting SopI marvel at this structure. Created in an afternoon, with little more impetus than a laugh and no more concern for it’s perfection or durability than the time it takes to be distracted onto a boogie board. Yet in my own creative process I can ponder and obsess over the next steps in plaster as if I were working with TNT or finding the cure for cancer. I dig my feet into the sand and commit myself to remember the care-free force of a child.

 

Sand castle. state Beach; Photo by Noelle

Sand castle, State Beach; Photo by Noelle

 

Small pathways discovered through the shrub-covered embankments, now dotted in pink flowers, enticed me into small sand dells and new routes home. I picked one of the morning blooms and placed it in my hair embracing all the beach bum I could pull into my lungs.

State Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island: Photos by Noelle

State Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island: Photos by Noelle

I sit daily in meditation, but few things calm and bring me into full alignment with my best self so completely, as a walk on a deserted beach. So to you my dear friends I offer this call to adventure and discovery that it not die upon my own lips.

“Avast, me hearties! There be treasure here.”

State Beach, Block Island: Photo by Noelle

State Beach, Block Island: Photo by Noelle

 

Seaside

block Island High Speed Ferry to New London: Photo by Noelle

block Island High Speed Ferry to New London: Photo by Noelle

Someone’s Coke had exploded on the window; no telling how long ago, but it looked old and crusted. The waves fill in the scene between the running, brown spots telling a tale of holidays and luggage, children eating crushed sandwiches with chips and foamy soda. My nieces are giggling in the booth behind me and I pretend to read my book. In truth, the ocean moving beneath my window is far more intriguing. The girls launch off to the outer deck leaving the Coke and me and the dark green sea. Such a vast ocean full of life and dancing seagulls that laugh at soda and women longing for their vacation not to end.

I breathe deep and feel the sand still embedded in my sandals rubbing against my heal. The vacation may be over but my morning walks are alive within me as I sail for home.

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

Some mornings the temptation to lie in bed would be great, but the island is a haven for bird migrations. The dawn is full of winged song and chattering old maids. Plus, I knew few walked the beaches in the morning leaving it mostly to myself. By nine o’clock people would be staking out their spots for the day, especially close to the water, but at the crack of dawn it’s a random dog walker and one or two folks likely fallen asleep on the beach from too much drink the night before.

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

As I walk the surf rolls over my feet, a tempting lover, but hard to get. It’s in the way she pulls at my ankles then drifts back into the sea as if she could careless at my response. I chase her, as any sun-drenched lover would and she covers my legs with love. She could beguile the hardest soul winking delicately in the new dawn and makes positive beggars out of crabs whose claws outstretch demanding she return them home.

I collect stones and fill my pockets, smooth and black or mica-covered quartz the favorites. I walk, rubbing them, committing to a seaside rosary of sorts as I speak to spirits that pull my hair into the wind. Salt graces my lips and I lick it off for breakfast, smiling at the seagull who hovers wondering what I dine on. “The same as you, my friend. The same as you.”

Mohegan's Bluff, Block Island: Photo by Noelle

Mohegan’s Bluff, Block Island: Photo by Noelle

I came upon a stingray, likely dead, but his eyes were still open and partially covered by a pool of water. I pulled him back into the seaweed thick surf and he quickly disappeared under the rolling garden. I could not tell if he lived or merely vanished in a tangle of kelp, but for some reason I felt very satisfied. After a time walking the beach I wondered at my need to deliver him from his death. We all must leave this plane at some point. The sight of death rarely disturbs me and I am at peace with the beautiful eco-system that has a purpose for even the decaying body. I sat on the sun-warmed sand and watched the surf for a long while. Clearly that day, I did not want either him or myself to be anywhere else but with the sea.

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

State Beach Block Island, Rhode Island: Photo by Noelle

Pour

Free Bing Photos

Free Bing Photos

I wait to empty as all of me pours out
Big rivers and sewer streams
Grass dew and leaky faucets
Gushing forth in love and
Madness, and still
On and on it falls
Draining darkly
Until I feel
My vastness
Running as
Clear as
A deep
Blue
Sea

Voyager

Free Bing Stock images

Free Bing Stock images

The apartment is quiet. I breath in slowly, holding it a moment before letting it out. I breath in again and close my eyes.

What separates me from the great explorers? Are we not all voyagers? Am I any different in substance and character then the captains of old? Crusty souls, masters on open seas, with nothing but gulls to mock their misadventures and palms to hail their gold. They hungered deep within their hearts for other treasures, too. Love, beauty, freedom

I breath in and the sound of my heart beats in the distance.

I stand, eyes closed and breath in again. The clock ticks in the kitchen. I hear the rattle of the blinds as the wind slips in. This time comes the scent of the sea. I wait, breathing silently, until the ocean spray touches my face. It heightens my awareness of the flapping sails. I stand ever so still. Breath in, breath out. Tack lines move across my feet as they feed out. This helm holds the trails of so many hours in my pacing.

The wood of the wheel has a warmth to it beneath my palm. Worn, warped, mine. I stroke it fondly for it is my companion, as much as, the means to find my way. Tidal currents move at angles on the water ahead, but I hold the wheel steady. The ocean moves beneath me and I’m terrified by what I cannot know or see and exhilarated with equal passion.

The sextant, too, feels substantial and weighty in my hand. I bring it up to my eye and hold it steady on my future. It is distant, but objects within are clearer to me now. I can set my mark. Breath in. I am not as far off course as I thought. Breath out. A few calculations in my sea journal and I move the wheel slightly to starboard. The spray rises and the wind fills the sails. That distinct flapping comes to my ear, as a switch of an ignition somewhere in my mind. I hold my breath and listen. The rhythm of the hull rising on the sea surf, then dipping below the horizon with a soft flop.

My heart beats in the distance.

The salt and the sea now envelope me. I run my hand lovingly across my map. A map built in sweat and love, tears and anger, missteps, wrong turns, high flying freefalls and laughter. Yes, a rich laughter, indeed. My map. My life is lines of longitude and latitude and strange sea monsters with lolling tongues. Or are they guardian angels? I’ve forgotten or can’t remember. I have been adrift many times. Always, at some point, I catch a wind and find land to regroup and set out again.

Breath in. Breath out.

The sound passing my lips is the only sign the ship is in motion. I look up. Orion is on the horizon. I am a star gazer and my ship has many ports still to see. Master of my destiny, I am. I breath deeply one last time of the saline sweet air. I lay the sextant down, loneliness settling where it filled my hand. The clock ticking in the kitchen persists. Blinds rattle in the dirty apartment windows. My heart beats steadily in the distance. The map folds close as eyes open.

Breath in, breath out.