The Loan Beach Walker. (13.7.9)

The night is still, silent as motion can be. A silver moon hangs low across the water, casting it’s light over the rippling waves. They crest at the beach and break over the dark sand. Rocks and seaweed are light against the black sand beach. A sea wall up the beach a way, now the end of the beach, stacks logs against it and things live there. Things besides the children of the day in their imaginations as they play.

Things that you’ve never seen, things you couldn’t see even if you tried.

The beach is full of people in the day, practically swarming with them. They’re alright. They live behind the sea wall only a road and a sidewalk away, where the beach used to end. They put the concrete down and built the wall. They hold the sea at bay yet wish they had more contact with the natural. With something they haven’t touched. Only when they wade in the water and the kelp brushes their legs do they think about this, and then it’s only I wish I could see more, or holy shit, what’s touching my leg?!

Tonight the water is alone, the people are gone. The colors fade between blue, blue green, silver, gray, and black. The picture is layered, water, waves, crashing surf, layers of beach, logs, sea wall, and a jagged reaching of buildings and people’s creations behind it. The fence and gate keeping the sea from the people and the people from the sea are locked. No one should be here.

The beach is alone, nothing shares with it the space beyond the fence at this time. The consequences of such an action are severe, and no one should tempt the harsh government of the time.

The tall figure of a man walks along the beach near the surf’s edge seems to fade into the shades of the beach. He walks here alone every night, watching the sea and the surf. He knows this beach, every contour. He knows what the people bring to it, and he knows what they take away. He watches as it changes, and he feels a calmness the sea brings out in him.

As he walks, occasionally he stoops, plucking a piece of plastic or bit of fabric from the sand. With each thing he picks up and stows away in his bag, the line of his jaw tightens. A spark of fire lights in his eyes, and burns his soul to see the rubbish left here. This is his place to be himself, alone, with his thoughts and himself. Everything he sees is a personal insult, an affront to the sea.

He’s been a boy when the wall was constructed, he had been watching the men always moving things around, building, creating, destroying. Yet through everything, even when the beach looked its worst, it had been his. More than anyone else, it was his.

And no matter what the people did to it, the sea seemed to like them. To care about them, help them. And the beach was his, friend. He would help its task, and he would keep it safe, as much as he could. He and the beach, the man who walked along the monochrome layers of sand and salt and waves, and the water that rose and fell to his step, they were a team.

This piece was originally written for the Seattle Acquarium’s Creativity Inspiring Conservation creative writing course, and was displayed during their 2013 student art reception.

The statement written for the program:

I feel like there’s a deep connection between people and the environment, I think it communicates with us, and I hope it will get easier to find people who are willing to try and listen.

The Woman Dipped In Ink. (19.2.12)

Red dress. Black dress. White dress.

White dress, black flowers, red petal tips.

She drifts through the world. Rain pelts the glass in fat, running droplets as she watches. Their streams distort light, views through the window. Inside, and out.

Her fingertips trail down the pane. Longing, loneliness in her eyes.

Ink seeps from her. Constant, viscous, pooling. From her fingertips, heels, hair, tear ducts, it seeps and runs from her, pooling in places, sticking in others. Reflecting slick highlights.

As she drifts, the ink runs like tears around her. It fills her footsteps, dissipating in rain and evaporating into black stains in the sun. It’s left dark and unseen on anyone she touches, without her knowing. It bubbles up through the skin at her throat, sliding down her chest through her dress’s weave without leaving trace, but marking the whole world around her.

The rain is a mild, warm background noise in a cold city, accompanying her tapping footfalls as she walks through the alley slow, barely feeling the rain. The edges of petals on her soaked, summery dress the only spots of color in the scene.

Soaked in experiences turned potential, is this

Her beginning or her end?

She walks, a lifetime of untold stories no longer contained, flowing away from her in fine rivulets.

Pockets. (19.3.8)

If there are infinite universes, with infinite combinations of physics and laws of nature, then surely there is one universe improved that there are not only proper pockets in women’s clothing, but also pockets in time where rest can happen without existential dread, missed deadlines, or time passed.

Unfortunately traveling to such a marvelous place is impossible as of yet.

Perhaps, by the time our personal rest pockets arrive, some of this world’s injustices will be no longer.

Brought to you by International Women’s Day, exhausted optimism, and accidentally being on time for a moment.

There are many more serious things wrong in the world than missing pockets. There is more time for seriousness tomorrow.

To all who whose energy is spent surviving, I love you.

Niche Nerdery. (19.2.14)

The world is full of cracks and crevices. They shift and shimmer, intersecting and enveloping each other, each with its own evanescence. They build and erode, with their own personalities and evolutions.

Thousands upon thousands of cracks exist. The maze rearranges itself, new beacons unseen for trips not yet undertaken, no matter the scale.

Adventures await, find yours.

Nerd.

Strange Paths Traveled. (18.12.14)

Shivers run down my spine and across my skin, prickling hairs and cascading in the air around me.

Darkness envelopes me, lights spilling out in front and shadows around all the rest. I can feel the speed and motion deep in myself, but the world is still. Going by fast, faster sometimes.

There’s rain and wind swirling, mixing with the shivers and cascade of sensations.

Can’t tell what’s within or without now, which twinges belong to me and which belong to the wind in the trees in the world.

When the rabbit runs across my lights, motion and momentum jerk at me, warning and reaction in one. Its eyes dart through mine when it turns and runs back into the darkened storm.

Omens and protections set about me, taking turns. Shivers of demons skittering, looking in my bubble of light and movement, then prickling warmth of protection earned, given, even stolen. Rabbits innocent or no, truly omen or simply crossing paths; nape of my neck demands answers I do not have.

My vision swings through the shadows at the edges of my light cast and for one split second there’s giant bat wings, nearly missed, almost imagined.

Caution, anxiety, of travels increase, but the speed steady. Shadows flick and fade, melting up and over me aimlessly back into themselves behind.

I don’t look back at them.

Raindrops scatter across my vision, my light, but are gone in an instant.

Dark red stains in odd patterns disappear, sweeping beneath me on the blackened path.

I don’t look down at them.

The music swells at the background now. Beside the turn there’s twisted remains, flayed limbs of inordinate numbers, all connecting back and shining with sinew and muscle. The viscera that should accompany such a display nonexistent, only clean cut grass, fading into pine needles and dirt of forest edge. Whatever’s inside stays there tonight.

The body’s piled together and barely hidden under a piece of black plastic, stretched taut and shiny over odd, protruding angles.

This is normal, not to be given a second glance.

***

The sun is shining brightly when I wake, sun streaming across my cheery curtains, my blankets, my bed.

There’s a colds sheen of sweat all over my body, and my blankets looked like they’ve been tossed aside.

I can remember only a warped echo of my dream, but even the brightness of the sun, the chirping birds, with sheer normalcy to comfort me, I can’t shake the dread that grips me.

I can’t remember, in my dream, what was I becoming?

Gossamer Currents. Watcher Garden #6 (19/2/1)

The butterfly with gossamer wings and awkward foal legs so often blamed for grand change.

What of the ant who marches along detritus, choosing to pick up a fallen comrade rather than a speck of food? Of the cats that chase each other up the trellis fire escapes in the city beyond the garden, tripping over each other, not knowing whether in anger or jest til they reach the top? Of the wrecking ball that lays dormant? Of the human’s eyelash flicking away tears but letting through dust?

Causal or coincidence, free will or predestined, it all looks the same. Patterns only engineered in hindsight.

The garden, reflected in the eye of a bird balanced and swaying at the top of the world, keeps memories not in patterns but in pools. Not water, but vastness in information. No piece more important than another. No organization, no constants.

The catalyst for sequences, prophecies, cannot be found in the ancient books. They did not know the chain anymore than the butterfly, pressing its wings into the calling air currents to fly.

Nonplussed. (19.1.11)

Emelie jumped at the sight, stumbling backward over the carpet, staring. Her eyes flicked back and forth, as if looking for an answer or an exit, the expressions on her face spinning through a multitude of moments.

Timothy, on the couch, glanced up once and returned to his attention to his game, barely stirring a muscle.

I shake my head, of course they would have the same reaction. But I was hoping for something a little more interesting than nonplussed.