‘how sad the flesh! and there’s no more to read.
escape, far off! i feel that somewhere birds
are drunk to be amid strange spray and skies!
nothing, not those old gardens eyes reflect
can now restrain this heart steeped in the sea..’
— mallarmé, ‘sea breeze’
translated by peter & mary ann caws
i keep coming back here.
maybe i just so desperately need to know that there is something more than the streets and sidewalks, than rushing from place to place, than the rat race and the job hunt and multitasking and networking.. maybe this – sitting here on my perch before sea and sky, the grass and the rocks and the ruin, the manmade empire – maybe this helps me to remember the rest of the world, the endless expanse.
i can see the river moving for what seems like miles and miles, and it’s free. it isn’t worried about health concerns, about articles to write, about finding a job, about being on time – it just is. now i know why emerson wrote the things he did, the way he did – or at least i have a glimpse. words fall short and pictures can’t capture it – just how refreshing it is to be here. maybe this isn’t the most practical way to be spending my time – but i need it. i’m recharging myself.
i keep coming back here, and it’s odd – i feel antisocial, and can’t seem to ever shake the fear of missing something – but the silence sings to you in a way few other things do. it seems there is my family, my love, and silence. the time you must allow yourself to settle into the space of existence. it’s so much more difficult than it sounds..
i can’t help but wonder what this river has seen – the secrets it keeps about all the people who come to see it. the kids cutting class and joking loud, the couples talking low on the bench near the tree, women coming to practice santeria – dumping the remnants of their rituals.. volunteers cleaning, artists working, photographers framing, and someone like me – just a few blocks from home but still in need of a reminder that the world can turn slower, and moments can last longer, if you want them to.
so many seek solace but the river still moves, undeterred by its wordless burdens. this is our true nature, if we can grasp it – flow on, carry on, humble yet limitless, inspiring yet silent. unpretentious and indescribably beautiful. i wonder how many others sit on what has become my perch – how many before me, and how many after? it all flows on. and sometimes the most important questions are the ones we are all asking silently. silently but in unison – held together by the force that brings us here to watch the river, as if we all somehow know the answers it holds – as if we all somehow know the answers we are still holding within ourselves – even at that very moment.
does the wind blow in silent confirmation?
from this perch, yea, the earth speaks.
are you listening?
once published with photos on the now-defunct Whiskey Dregs Magazine dot com (2009)