Wednesday, May 7, 2014

breathing (throwback)

August 14, 2010 at 9:57pm

[it's all too short to waste]

It seems to me that from our moment of birth forward, we begin something of a circular descent; a countdown of sorts.

Every breath we release, we collapse a little within - not a wasting, but a waning. It's a paradoxical ebb and flow like the perpetually changing tides beneath the bold but elusive faces of the moon. It's endless and everchanging, but we all know, at heart, that those waters, the tiny grandchildren of tidal waves, they distance themselves a little more each day, the scalloped evidence over vanishing footprints merely a fleeting reminder that they were ever a part of the scenery. Whisked, with our listless and confused breaths, out onto a vast body that breaks nowhere near the vanishing point on the horizon.

The last time the waters and I were face to face, I expected to feel the inevitable pain, the grave and severe longing that lulls the spirit into submission. The waves and gulls' wings beat the wind, beat the shore, their atonal dissonance sweet as nightingale song over my shifting soul, shifting soles, both sinking slowly into the sand. Into clarity. It never came. I sat in the sands while Mother Earth idly lapped at my feet, pushing; perhaps reminding.

It's not easy in the twilight waves to decide which of us will dissolve first, to compete for who will be the first to finally fade into the simple and comfortable greys of the evening, to be forever denied permanent company  - After all, even though we predictably return to meet again, we simply shift too often to be promised remembrance.

And it's nights like these, beyond the shining moon on the waters, beyond a faint line of horizon, a word of no weight, a word to describe what is null and void to us, what we cannot see but for which we will always pine and yearn and set reckonings. The perfect dismal line across our field of view to which we've sacrificed all of our wasted breaths, borne by neutral waves to places of forgetting. It's these nights we know we've been looking in the wrong places for far too long, hoping for a moment to merge perfectly with the elements - to be adrift with the captive breaths we freed many nights upon nights into the endless void of ocean - We know now, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that becoming part of it was never an option. All those voyeuristic hours on shorelines, vigilantly watching over and observing something we'd never control. It seems that was just never the answer.

We needed impact. We should have been striving for some sort of change. Truth be told - In all this time fading, dwindling, eroding like the sands - we've been sacrificing ourselves to a great maternal hunger that could never possibly be satiated. That we were bled, hollowed, and left as husks to litter the shores until mother earth's loving arms were around us, washing, pulling, drawing us away into the forgotten. Away from memories. And we'd sooner do this,  give ourselves to a force we don't even pretend to understand than try to see what could change it, to embrace it and leave our mark, forcing aside the will of something we'd known for certain for so long that we'd never conquer.

Beneath the moon the glassy streaks of light flitter and sparkle with glimmering winks of understanding - The waters, my elders, they hold the wisdom I've avoided all these nights in the sand. The inevitable pain we seek on the shores isn't any sort of longing at all, it isn't about a loss of focus or control, and it isn't even about wasting. It's about prowling that shoreline, pacing over dunes and sandhills with thunderous footfalls drowned by ocean waves. It's about scrawling your name feverishly into the earth until the nailbeds bleed. It's about taking a stand and being unmoved, swaying only to the rhythm that beats for you, the heart palpitating over the ocean you know you've finally conquered as its waves break and part at your toes, reconvening at your heels where they feel safe again.

Sworn in on this starry night, taking an oath over the waxing and waning of the moon and the tides, ebbing away ... Forever distancing themselves little by little.

We know, by oath. We know, because we stood in it, shaking and confused at first,  Newborns to the night and the slashing streaks of blue and white moonlight cutting into waves. Our solemn code to the night, that we will not take it for granted. We've traded the strength of our spirit this night for understanding, for lifting the heavy blanket of longing, confusion, and waste.

And we've mustered the courage to ask Mother Earth to share.

Because it's all we can do.