Welcome Ravished Guests

State Beach, Block Island

Low Tide, Block Island, photo by Noelle

The surf comes slow and steady, lapping quietly only a few feet away, and never desists. She seems a persistent child, playfully pulling me ever further away from my thoughts. I match my breathe to her comings and goings, at first a difficult task. I am full of the busyness of life at work and the chaos of travel. Yet, after a time, she in her great depths and I in my shallowness upon the beach become one. My muscles sink deeply into the sand, as I rest motionless upon the towel.

Tide's Arrival

State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

At mid-morning, the beach is not yet busy, and the gull’s calls are distinct from the din that comes with afternoon beach goers. I open one eye and see a large gray-breasted gull inching toward me. He is surveying for any booty to steal, pirate thief that he is. His beak nods dismissively, as he finds nothing and walks on down the beach. I find a sudden longing that he stay awhile longer. He speaks to me of sea and sky, salt and sand.

The ocean laps, my eye closes and the meditation drops deeper still.


Beach Access, photo by Noelle

There is no effort in this sort of meditation.

The Earth and sea work on me, as they have on the driftwood that litters the beach around me. Softening my edges, tempering my life force, wearing away abrasiveness, leaching from me all that is no longer essential to my purpose and form. Clues are there – tasty salt upon my lips, a breeze lifting my hair – that unseen forces work steadily at this disassembly. An effortless altering of my biochemistry. We think it’s back to some baseline peaceful state, but I think it’s to a new version of me at peace that is forming. I am not the same, as I was before. The same as other peaceful times. The quality I know as peace, changes as I change. Each return to me, from a wound up person in the throes of life, shows me a me I have yet to meet.


State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

Thoughts barely rise, before the sun evaporates them off my mind blurring my sense of where I end and the sand begins. This feels essential. A kind of reset where I am wiped totally clean before rebooting to my new form. It is hard to remember when I used to lie here and pull my other life with me onto the beach towel. Endless, frenzied thoughts about life elsewhere, hardly noticing the call of the sea and the gulls. Somewhere inside of me, I think I have always known my troubles only existed if I kept thinking about them. That they would evaporate if I wasn’t there tending to them and where would that leave me? If I gave up thinking about them, then I might not exist anymore either, for who was I without them?

What a tragedy, not being me, once seemed.

Malingering at the Lagoon

Block Island, photo by Noelle

Now I call the wind and the sea to me, ravish guests to an abundant feast. There is nothing I won’t give them. There is nothing they can’t have. This ship has beached here and has lost all defenses. Pirate gulls and marauding wind, my treasures, such as they are, are yours for the taking.

If you enjoyed this piece, you can find more in my book of meditations called “Into Your Meditation” available on Lulu.com, Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Salt Flats of San Francisco Bay: Part 1

Salt Flats in San Francisco Bay: Photo by Noelle

Salt Flats in San Francisco Bay: Photo by Noelle

Entering the Bay:  Photo by Noelle

Entering the Bay: Photo by Noelle

Pictures will both look best enlarged. This series comes from an arial shoot of the salt flats of San Francisco Bay. Had no idea of their beauty. This is coming into the Bay and the beginning of the drying beds. I have been thinking a lot lately of dimensions. I’d been listening to a scientist presentation on dimensional reality. I’d never given it any thought. It was fascinating to realize how different the world appears to an amoeba and a fly or how there are dimensions beyond the third dimension, that we live in. We have the view of an amoeba to someone else. When I flew over the salt beds it occurred to me I’d driven by these before with my friend, but had never seen them. We walk around all day thinking we see the world, when really we see just a tiny sliver of an infinite whole.


Free Bing Photos

Free Bing Photos

I opened up the suitcase I packed carefully before I left. On the road it had been tossed about and now irritation, which I’d packed next to fear was sticking out the side. That’s always how it happens. You think you’ve got it all together and then life tosses you around, and the next thing you know, melancholy is covered with eczema ointment, whose cap has come undone. Every journey requires a little clean up if it’s a good one. Anxiety has mixed in with anticipation and it’ll take a wet towel to get it all back in order. I’ll confess, I’m like most people. I like happy folded perfectly on top. That way, when I open up, it’s the first thing everybody sees. Sometimes, though, you open with exacerbation or dumb shock and your scrambling to get the wrinkles out and cover that glaring stain of shame. I tuck irritation back in, closer to disappointment than fear, but whatever. I’m not planning on wearing it anywhere if I can help it.

We come into life with a full kit bag. It has the entire emotional scale packed neatly within it. We can pull out any and all of it whenever we choose. We are never free of it, because that suitcase is our free will. It’s just part of the road gear. It’s what we all take with us when we step out onto Earth’s mantle. We meet a lot of people, see different things and experience a traveling circus of life, but no one else decides what we’ll put on. That is our choice. Someone can be holding a black tie hate party, but I get to decide if I’ll show up in my flower child, wild ass, love suit. You feel comfortable in that hat of indignation? That’s cool, no judgment, but I hope you don’t mind if I throw on this baseball cap with foolishness written all over it.

I take out my makeup bag filled with curiosity, intrigue and imagination and leave it in the hotel bathroom. I change into hopeful and dab a little wonderment on my neck and head out to dinner. No telling what I’ll run into, but I’ve packed a full case. I’m ready for any eventuality. Besides, what’s the worse that can happen? I have to pull on blissed out. I always look good in that.

Little Gem

Arial view of The Rockies in Colorado: Photo by Noelle

Arial view of The Rockies in Colorado: Photo by Noelle

To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs on, nothing worries, which, free from ties and from all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God and dead to its own.

Meister Eckhart