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A Walk On the Beach
I went again today ... to that place, the allurement overwhelming ... the one we called "ours" so tritely, "mine" before you, "mine" again now, (tho' others have doubtless staked claimed - ages before and since). I went there to "forget" you ... to put life in perspective again - to feel the awe of all creation and my insignificance amidst it ... yours ... ours. Just one of the endless ways I forget you each day. My essence is there ... an open-air cathedral for the melancholy, (and I one of its honored caretakers and most stolid gargoyles, cold as granite). The redolent brine ... laughing gulls ... clang of a buoy ... hypnotic wave wash, like it's lulling the day to slumber, or heartening me to listen ... listen to the rhythmic music of nature's capricious breath. I walked to the end, where the ledges meet the sand, (the way we always did), a bit of a hike, more than three miles down and back, I think, but it seems as near as ever when I'm so enthralled with what my senses drown me in. It's always there, (waiting for me, I like to think) ... "Our" rock ... hours spent there ... talking deep, talking nothing ... kissing, arguing, ruminating, dreaming, being silent, being loud ... (minds at one moment as if one, the next, eons apart ... our own worlds). That rock, though molded and shaped by centuries of water and wind, fit us perfectly ... as if all those years of endless pounding of surf and gale, were a premonition for our special moments ... was a monotonous preparation, for romantic fools like me who find fate inescapable ... who find happenstance hard to accept, and who believe that this rock was placed here for our purposes alone ... (foolish). Imagine the stories that rock has absorbed ... not just mine, but endless others, who have found that place as special and receptive for love and melancholy as we. I wonder, when others are there alone, if they do as I do - I talk out loud to no one - out into the ether - sometimes from the deepest part of my being, things I would or could never speak to another human. But that spot ... it coaxes them out ... The salt air and sounds of the shore, reach their fingers into my being, and grasp things there I didn't know existed ... and I'm obliged to turn them to sound, to give substance of voice to validate their importance, not importance to me or my loves, not to any human or nature or even God, but importance to the moment ... to existence and its divine principles. (These are the precise things this place stirs within me each time I'm here ... but always mixed with you). There have been times - times when I went during winter, in stormy weather ... I love the ocean then the most, it's personality is at its most basic - it's most visceral: it's strength, it's anger, it's exuberance, it's joy, it's indifference to humanity, is at its most obvious ... and my significance to myself is never more potent. There are usually no people there then, and it's as if it's been placed there for me alone to appreciate ... to savor. At those times, when there are no others, and the surf is pounding ... the waves raging against sand and stone, and the gulls are fighting the winds off-shore, the bell-buoys arguing with the swells, and the fog-horns warning ... I walk to the end, to our rock, and I stand up on it, and without thinking of anything but you and your eyes, the way they betrayed your soul the first time they met mine, your hands, the way God made the spaces between your fingers fit mine so perfectly ... Your smile, that makes those "light up a room" clichés seem so inadequate, that incredible tiny electrical vibration I felt when I touched your skin, (like no other), and your voice, that never stopped making my heart flip whenever you'd speak my name, your sigh, a music so sweet and forbidden ... a melody for me alone, that held me prisoner ... thinking on all that defines what you are and were and meant, (and the void left behind) ... I reach down into my soul, to that place that terrifies me, where I'd never go at any other time, (the place I refuse to see when I consider the mirror each day ... the place I will always deny), I saturate myself with that dark place and all that it holds ... all that it hides, and with all my might I tear it from my gut in a single yell, a sound as primal as my surroundings. Not a scream of terror, but one of release ... a release of contrition and self-awareness ... a purging of pain and joy and fear and passion ... Loss and love and anger and insignificance ... hatred and jealousy, exuberance and relief ... the longing to feel, and the desire to never feel again ... all my emotion - negative, positive, ambiguous - the multitude of things I feel that are beyond expression ... I scrape them from my being with all the force I can ... completely, without regret or wonder, face skyward, I return them to the places they belong ... carried to nothingness on the ocean winds, (like the dust I someday will become). No one can hear ... no thing can hear ... even to me the sound is swallowed by the surf. The gulls and sandpipers go about their business, (I could be another of these rocks, and it would matter not to them) ... my loud proclamations to the sky unrecognized. But to me this little ritual is priceless, this place as precious as any ... my soul renewed as my breath is spent, (at least temporarily), my mind as clear as the cloudless sky. My thoughts are still of you ... us ... there ... magical ... sun dancing as a million jewels on the waves. Or moonlight hypnotizing us to dream and believe and feel sure it would never end ... moments so precious, so bathed in romance that they were eternal ... captured in time, beyond the sobering brush of reality ... and at those moments, all that mattered ... no thought or feeling or emotion or thing that wasn't US ... alone but not alone. (continued)
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