An airless room, music holding a silent score. Words penned to a straight line.
You play in harmony. Strum a rhythmic causeway. An entry step to hearth, to home. An inlay pattern to the door.
A washing line hooked wall to wall, painted, hung out to dry. A secure women’s ward.
Clothes suspended on a Venetian breeze. Taut pegged slack. An unknown known tipping the tongue.
A string strummed to a pitch high on sacred ground. Windows a light to slated dusk of falling night.
A choral ensemble. Each voice a part, a whole.
You play an odd note. Disharmony, the invisible peg plucks air to sound the score.
An unknown knowing known.
Photo by Su Ormerod
Standing time. Her feet, at the bidding of her mind. She caught my eye as I stood still. She, stood too. It was the sea in her eye.
A push out wave gurgled as it caressed in-between toes. Curling curiosity laughed out loud. Her beginning in sand.
The beginning. Unnamed. Free. Hands of mother and mother’s mother full of sand. She lived the next moment of her life.
She came to be. In a push pull wave, footprints forming and unforming. Creativity in motion. Nameless.
She scampered, a swashbuckle uprush wave.
Photo by Su Ormerod
When I think of being on the edge, I see a penny at the front of a coin pusher. Methodical movement back and forth, seemingly waiting for something else to tip the balance.
A mechanical tide moving metal like the cars I try to ignore, as I walk along the seafront to an art exhibition of invisible narratives. The sea on the left and town on the right.
There are waves projected onto a book of empty pages, on a desk with two radios. Each, broadcasting one voice. A monologue on the lack of dialogue in place, space and time, of what’s natural and what’s man-made. An installation.
Each, ignorant of the other, voicing over and over each other. A backing track of urban instruments. A constant throwaway into breaking waves. It feels like chaos.
The penny drops.
I walk back on edge.
There are no sides
Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash
The tidal waters drew them in sand back to the ocean. Soon, all water was gone. What was separate was one. Sea bed to land flats.
They lived near the sea, a place of escape. He built a boat of iron and laid anchor on a concrete floor. The bow sculpted motionless to the stern. Its touch, long gone cold. The chisel and hammer of time turning from west to east.
She rolled scroll after scroll. It was an empty vessel. There was paper, wire mesh, ceramic and lead. He placed each in the bottom. “A boat full of grave goods,” he said.
“No, no words are written here,” she said. “I am my own story,” he said. “In the telling, you will know,” she said. They listened in silence.
“A boat full of life goods,” she said. “Before time,” he said. “In sand and ruins and fish and fin and feet and lung,” they said.
Photo by Osman Rana in 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