‘All the left shoes arrive here in the Netherlands and the right shoes travel to England…’ (Flotsam & Jetsam)
When something seems far fetched, it might be time to have faith. To step into the world of the magical where anything is possible. Suspend disbelief and, with hope, believe.
Today, in the north end of Bryher, it happened. There they were, two right flip flops. Not one but two, as if to make sure what was found would be certain to bring in the story from the sea to the shore.
When I saw them, I laughed out loud and shouted with joy to the gulls ‘I believed’. I believed the story. To live is to work and to hope and trust in the tides as the sea rises and falls.
The possible happens.
Flotsam & Jetsam (Vimeo) is a film which follows the lives of beachcombers in Texel, exploring their relationships and history as extraordinary people in extraordinary situations.
This is a story. It turns on the tide. It began on the ebb. The sea gave up a rock to the sun, wind and rain.
A standing rock of the land.
He, had waited. Its absence, a chiselled presence on his horizon. Waited to step out onto the rock given up by the sea.
Oftentimes, if he had a mind, he could feel its pressure pushing up against his feet. As he stepped into its time, he said to himself, “I am become life”. A tree wooded to stone. A living conversation in an ancient forest.
The silence and stillness of the rock rubbed that space between his skin and his clothes. He felt the air move around his body. The shape of him as he took in the horizon.
His breath, turned inwards, reached a deep place. He felt the power in waves of expansion and retraction. A changing space.
He moved deeper into his darkness. There, a stream became a river. It carried fresh water to the sea. A brackish mix as it turned on a wave.
His feet, touched the sound of water as it flowed over and over the rock. Land became sea.
Silently, he stood on the beach still.
Photo by Jake Hailstone on Unsplash
Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash
To walk the same path on occasion across life, is to stand in time as it passes. A ploughed field still to the sound of an ocean, a wave breaking green on a coastal path.
I wonder at earths stillness in life. At layers of soil footprints ground to a path, solid to rain homing to the sea. Time held in clods. An archaeological dig, comes to mind. A grounded memory. Earth to earth.
There is patience in winter silence. A field held still, in thrall to a plough shaping mud like water. A boat aground, a colony of gulls feather-light sailing in a prevailing wind. A blackbird singing of a tomorrow, hedged in anticipation. Like the taste of a lime sharp spring. A rustling ear at dawn.
Time laid in stone. A negative, the space. Earth to earth. Shoots of sun and rain, to leaf and flower. Green dug deep, inch by inch by inch.
Time, walk on.
Photo by Su Ormerod
There is work in bringing ourselves more fully into life and sometimes, we just need to stand. Like the tide stands between the tide coming in and the tide going out. A moment of equilibrium. An oceanic breath.
There was a morning, not so long ago. I walked in a harbour, the sea water close in. Later, a good while later, I walked back, it lingered still. Like it had stood in place and time unmoving whilst I was caught in life. Yet, a soft light spoke of a world turning toward night. Footprints walking with ancient waves. There, a salty moment, an hourglass taste.
There, I stood. There, we stood. There, the ocean stood. There, a rhythm played in the silence.
Photo by Borna Bevanda on Unsplash