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Archive for the ‘Beach’ Category

tears of sorrow

tears of grief

tears roll daily

no relief

lame distractions

cheapened hope

castaway dreams

frayed rope

perfect storm

of guillotines

natty to rags

ball gowns to jeans

for the better

was the goal

end result

darkened soul

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Reblogged from October, 2011…because what’s old is new again:

I suppose it wasn’t really there after all. I must have been daydreaming. When you’re hanging at the beach, some things just kind of blur together, like the pod of dolphins the other day at one point clearly being a pod of dolphins, gradually fooling the eyes into trying to decipher what was bottlenose and what was fin and what was tall wave. The playful animals somehow melded into being waves. Eventually when the excitement wanes and you start questioning your own senses and sensibility, you learn to quit looking, and refocus anew on what is, on what was, to begin with.

I thought I saw a ship, of great proportions, traversing the horizon. It had a bright color that caught my eye, contrasting from the sea, and maintained a steady path, as long as I dared to watch.

While it caught my gaze, I imagined where it came from, how long it had stayed in port, and where it now headed, what it carried. The Sunday newspaper keeps a public record of such data, but it’s been a month of Sundays since I read a Sunday paper.

But the ship was real as long as I looked at it.

I was driving, though, and could only afford intermittent glances. I was driving fast, windows down, music loud, hair flying.

I know it was there. But then, I glanced again, and it was not. Simply slipped out of my vision, out of my reality.

It reminded me of the man I used to see come home on what I calculated must be his lunch hour, as I ran the last hill on my runs. His house was one of my reality checks – I used it to remind myself of my goal, since it was at the peak of the knoll, the hardest and steepest hill of the three I conquer on my usual 2.5 run.

Once upon a time in the season of jasmine, I marveled at the tall southern pines which graced his front yard, with something that looked like clematis climbing up the trunks of each tree. They were so fragrant, I came to look forward to springtime runs, just to get to that last, steep incline.

 

Each labored inhalation was rewarded. His front porch was typically Southern, a wraparound with ample rocking chairs and detail in the woodwork, beckoning one to stop for a glass of sweet tea (slice of lemon) in the fragrance of the climbing flowers. The trees, and the clinging flowers, disappeared up into the sky-blue like some Jack-in-the-Beanstalk fairy tale.

How I would have loved to stop!

But my course would have been ruined had I done so – I was compelled to finish what I began, compulsively dedicated to completing my circuit, and his house was only one stop on my way to my destination. How sad…and it always seemed…no, seems (I still go by) so inviting.

Through the spring and part of the summer, I saw him come home. He would be parked in the side driveway, sometimes standing on the porch, sometimes inside, sometimes conversing with his landscapers. Sometimes just standing there, yakking on his phone, or pausing to watch me and wave.

And I always kept going.

Although we saw each other nearly daily, he was a stranger, and I to him. He was at the end of my run, at the top of the steepest hill, and I could not, would not stop, no, never. Never meant to be. He and his coveted possessions were well out of my league. I would not be interested in such.

I had to keep running, keep my pace, knowing the end was near and soon I would have rest. But in that rest I often thought of how nice it would have been to stop my run short and crash on that ample front porch and get acquainted with the wealthy neighbor. He didn’t know me, not really. And I didn’t know him. No, we were Worlds Apart, on two different courses, two different schedules, two different paths. He may have thought he knew me; he probably imagined he knew me, but he would have been wrong. Someone like that and those Things could not have understood or known joy from someone like me and my things.

And, like the ship that I’m not sure ever really existed, he also ceased to exist after my weeks of illness which prevented me from my daily runs. I have gingerly, carefully resumed and gone back, as I sit at the lapping water here, but he no longer comes home for lunch. And I have not seen a ship like it on the horizon since, either.

Both are gone; I am alone, and left wondering if they ever really existed, or if they were figments of my imagination, like so many other things.

I suppose I was a figment, too…not quite real, not quite tangible. Just sort of, out there. Interesting to imagine, but not really existent.

There is safety in not really being real, not able to be figured out, comprehended, perceived fully. Perhaps it is best if figments remain figments, visions as visions, dreams as dreams. That way, things of intrigue remain as we wish for them to be thought of, and we do not run the risk of disappointment, should the harshness of reality not live up to our dreams.

Our dreams…our delusions…our mirages serve us well, to provide the comfort of distracted vision, and of hope and curiosity, without the pain of what is, what must be, no matter how satisfying what must be, is.

Both the ship and the man were elusive and surreal as they passed before what I thought was my reality, bringing interest and reason to look while they lingered in the periphery of my reality, ever just so out of reach and causing me to question my sanity, yet serving a purpose by challenging myself to keep looking and to keep running all at the same time.

Oh, why O why, didn’t I stop long enough to verify the existence of the ship? and the man? Was I afraid they’d be real? Or that I would have to change to accommodate their reality? Was it better that they came and went from what I thought was my vision, that they remained a part of the Unsure?

How bittersweet, never to know for sure. I could never pursue either, and must stay on my circuit.

Damn, today’s run was totally to mentally detox. The news at high noon (delivered in the best room with the best catered food which I didn’t eat) was supposed to be good, which I couldn’t swallow, either. It was good to everyone but me. My crestfallenness did not go unnoticed, and I know they saw me tear out of the parking lot on my run after the meeting with more vigor than usual Upon my return, I was swamped with Higher Visitors and calls from all angles, feeling me out, no one daring to ask. The Secret is not theirs to uncover, they knew. And I was helpless, speechless, unable to explain. Only someone like me could be living such a dual life in so many dimensions.

But the run was hard and fast, and the man wasn’t there…again. I guess I missed too many days, so it was…just…a run. And I returned to face reality, my dreams and thoughts and feelings sequestered to the depths of my inner being, where they are better kept behind the game face.

But nothing can erase the ship on the horizon. I know it was there. I know it seemed like it wasn’t at one point, but I can still see it, I can still picture it crossing my path when I had time to pause my gaze. It was big and bright and happy, and added perspective to the horizon. The fact idea that it was there gave enough impetus to relish the rest of the surroundings, even after it disappeared.

Even if it wasn’t real, it was…just for a moment…it really was. And if I willed it to be so for the sake of my sanity, is there anything wrong with that?

The fumes of belief fuel faith.

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Evanescent… what a great word!

I had to look it up to be sure I understood its full meaning:

“After you lose a loved one, often you’re gripped with a fear of evanescence, or the rapid fading from sight or memory of that person. Evanescence comes from the Latin evanescere meaning “disappear, vanish…” The evanescence of a shooting star makes it hard to catch — it’s there one moment and gone the next. Evanescence is a word typically used to describe an event that fades from sight or memory, or sometimes the fleeting quality of worldly success.” – from vocabulary.com


Here, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, intoxicated with the illusion of worldly success, is duped by his own overexuberance, naive trust and foolishly, unrealistically high expectations of self and others.

He believes that he has half a chance at snagging half a Ritz cracker (not just any cracker!) out of a hand of a handsome man held steadily, extended for a long enough time to establish Hope and Faith.

The Golden Ritz prize, studded with diamond salt – Diamond Tears – was earnestly offered…but wasn’t really his to be offered in the first place.

Cruel fate!

So you can see how his wings dramatically arched at the last minute to brake (a poetic flash of a few seconds, as if an ethereal few days) realizing all too late that he was going too fast and would have to forfeit his Ritz dream…

…to allow the bird behind him, the bird who knew all along how to take it slow and steady, drama-free, and keep her focus on the prize. Her wings were never quite so flexible – in fact, she looked rather plain and like any bird – “soap and water,” an observer once said of her image.

Let fools go rushing in! You play with fire, you get burned.

But the plain and ordinary bird who was there all along in the wings (no pun intended) and stuck it through without wavering, would get the Ritz. Those attracted to and distracted by the dramatic, beautiful seagull who once wondered aloud of the ordinary bird, “Who would want her?” would be the same ones lining up behind her in the end.

As usual, Jonathan Livingston Seagull would be relinquished to peck at the fallen crumbs under the balcony…the poetic, creative and physically agile wings were of little practical use in the long run. They looked alluring for a flash, but all shooting stars must dissipate or crash.

Why are some birds destined to play their cards right and win the Ritz, and others are destined to constantly scrape and struggle and get only glimpses of Promised Lands? A hard road for both…

The vocabulary.com entry was only the second thing that popped up. Oh-so-fittingly, the very first thing Uncle Google suggested for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge word…a band with the same name and message:

But even the diamond salt in bitter tears fades….thank You, God, for glimpses of hope, for tastes of buttery, lucious Ritz crackers to savor, if only for a few crumbs!

Thank You for letting us peek over the hill and into the Promised Land, and thank You for those blessed enough to get there and partake in this lifetime, and for those blessed to imagine and for those blessed to dream.

For assuring us that You don’t lie, You deliver in the end and that even if we miss the Ritz in this flight, how much more savory it will be in the next flight. Alleluia, alleluia!

The ending of Jonathan Livingston Seagull:

“To begin with ” he said heavily, “you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”

No limits, Jonathan? he thought. Well, then, the time’s not distant when I’m going to appear out of thin air on your beach, and show you a thing or two about flying!”

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Security…

May a child always trust that his hometown will stand intact…that his brothers will always be there for him…that his footing is secure…and that God will never forsake him no matter what.

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Thank You, God, for the sun always rising and setting, and for everything in between. May we rest securely in the arms of Your promises.

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Solitude hiding in sargassum…

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Thank You, God, for the sanctuary of camouflage. When honesty is raw, when judgment is harsh, when exposure might lead to death as we know it.

Thank You that we can be ourselves with You…and with those rare few who judge not.

There is no solitude but in You.

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Happy New Year to my friends and fellow bloggers…

Please join me in welcoming 2017 with some resilient sea-horsey sentiments, inspired by my new bloggy friend plainmama (yes, paint AND prose are just a couple of her many talents).

Consider the seahorse (species pictured are native to our Gulf coast) as we face the new year – may we be that creature which uses motion to stay the course, in which flexibly goes with the flow of the ocean’s current…confidently stretching ourselves to greater possibilities while instinctively coiling interdependently for anchoring:


Tranquil amid perpetual motion,

Simplicity dominates life;

Beauty and harmony in its movement,

The husband is the wife.

(Interesting side notes: The Latin genus hippocampus (hippos=horse, campus=sea monster) – the hippocampus is the deepest part of our brain governing memory, the part that looks like a seahorse deep within and is the first to go in dementia…and also flatlines when adrenaline rushes during a perceived threat, trauma or hardship. The sea horse does not stay with the same mate for life (fluidity!) and the female dumps thousands of eggs on the male at once because less than 1% survive…which is why I did this photo shoot since it is so, so difficult to keep seahorses in captivity (and octopi, a future blog topic) – carpe diem, baby!

Hey, God, thank You for another year of buoyancy amid the current and for keeping us in motion that we don’t get stuck, trapped or drowned – that You keep us moving amid the current of the universe without fail.

Fluent, fluid and flexible! Yes, God, please stretch uS to the ceiling of our potential while taking great comfort in the sanctity of each other….grounded and heaven-bound, all at once!

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Can you see a few different paths in this photo?

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Crooked path my life has wrought,

A straight one just could not be sought

 

Had I walked a path so straight,

The views might not have been so great

 

I got to see both here and there

And felt like I went everywhere

 

Thank you, God, for varied ways

And different trails yet to blaze

 

The shortest route may seem the best

But zig-zag paths are truly blessed!

 

 

 

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