July 31st, 2008

abstract butterfly

On the distant shore

I like lakes with islands. Birdsong sounds better when the bird stands free on his own perch in the middle of a place where people do not go.

Island metaphors abound in literature. "No Man is an Island", they say, which, if you've ever been to any goodish small holiday island, you know is probably right, but only in the sense that "no man is a golden Garibaldi fish" or "No Man is a loaf of Wonder Bread".

When I am on still waters, I like to canoe or kayak. It's fun to "make for" a distant island, with no thought of landing. Even motoring towards an island can be more satisfying than landing. Years ago a friend and I took a boat past endless pods of dolphins to Anacapa Island. We found great joy in merely circling the island, without landing. It was our own personal Apollo 8 moment.

Tonight the news burbled with the confirmation of water on Mars. I do not know if Mars will prove to have life still, but I suspect we will find we are not the one-hit wonder we once believed we might be. We probably are not even top of the pops. I hunger for news of life on Mars, but then, I also hunger for a plesiosaur in Loch Ness and for an alternative fuel economy in 10 years or less.

I believe that we need not hunt exotic islands, however warm and inviting they might be. All around us are distant shores.

Each of you is a mystery, a puzzle and a sense of endless wonder to me. You are endless horizon, surrounded by deep waters, leading to impenetrable shore.

Shall we engage in a mutual exercise to exorcise a part of my curious mind? Perhaps.
You hold the key to your own prison here.

Here I risk intrusiveness in the interest of clarity. A gentler Omaha Beach, perhaps.
Perhaps a beach holiday from a Tati film. Perhaps merely ships, passing inconsequentially, in
search of islands.

Shall I ask of you? Shall you reply?

If you wish to play, then merely comment "turn the key".