These days I can be found working under a hundred-year-old oak tree at the sea shore, curled up in an old white Adirondack chair, books parading through my hands like lovers. If I told you that the bruises on my legs came from the weight of the volumes pressing my knees against the armrest, you probably would not believe me.
The oak’s branches reach all the way above water. As I wonder if it is the salinity that is making her leaves brownish and her branches droopy, she drops an acorn on my head to reassure me that she is already older than I can ever hope to be. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, hon.
I flip-flop across the freshly cut grass and the dewy leaves stick to my bare ankles like begging Gypsy children. I make my way to the wooden bench and the two Adirondack chairs, smiling all the way because they used to be on opposite sides of the bench, and now they are next to one another. I pull my legs up into a lotus position as I plant my ass on one of them, laying the book in my lap. My eyes follow the wooden pier as it stretches out into the water, adorned with a boat lift and another boat floating tied next to it, crab traps and boxes, spider webs and fresh seagull poop.
A group of cormorants will land on the water, and if the sun is at the right height they will resemble a bunch of downsized Loch Ness monsters. The solitary duck that comes and twirls its little webbed feet around, bobbing about in the sea grass, will get freaked out by what seems a random fish bite from below the surface. It will take him a few seconds before he can get his fat duck ass to lift up into the air, but he will quack his way to escape eventually. The giant rockfish head stuck on one of the thin pylons of the neighbors’ pier looks like a fat Cheshire cat to me. And oh boy is it grinning.
The yip of the osprey above will render me melancholy. The perfect amount of plaintive and joyful in their voices will never cease to amaze me.
I sit with my legs crossed and can feel my own pulse thumping right underneath my solar plexus. The chakra of personal power, yellow in symbolism as well as the bile it is capable of producing if unattended to. A pang around my right ovary makes me wince a little, clamoring for its own morsel of attention and reminding me that stress is a bitch. My sinuses won’t be ignored either so I sneeze like a donkey. The body that was screaming for so long for balance, some rest and finally some peace, has been treated so well that can hardly believe its luck as it lets its toxins evaporate.
You would be surprised at what you might hear if you tone the universe down for a second, and dare to listen in on yourself.
I have so much tension in me it’s not even funny.
The wheels in my head won’t stop turning.
Suspicion, distrust, defensiveness, passive-aggressiveness seem to be spilling over from one organ to the next, refusing to leave my system. My ego is an obnoxious little pussydog, most likely a Pekinese with Great Dane delusions. It yaps and bites and won’t give over even when slapped across the nose with the newspaper and told to sit in the corner for awhile.
My kernel is in danger of a meltdown, and it is all his fault. This house, and its one precious perfect inhabitant, are melting me down. What do you mean, you love me for who I am? Don’t you know that is next to impossible? How can you offer your home so freely and tell me it is mine to roost in and feel safe and comforted in? Aren’t I supposed to be permanently displaced? What do you mean, you love me unconditionally? Not even my mother is capable of that.
So I sat in the old Adirondack chair, next to the black water, talked to the ducks and read my book. I saw Ahab off down the ocean vortex one more time, that pitiful old fool and sad slave to his mania. I wept for him and for my own mistakenly chased white whales, wrongly barked-up trees and rotten eggs that I so meticulously collected in my basket for so long. Any other cheap metaphors you can think of?
This brackish water is doing me good. It is murky and full of sediment. There are undercurrents, sea grass and bottom feeders in it. But I’ll be damned; it hosts rockfish and ocean liners just as well as the deepest fathoms of the Atlantic do. And this rugged angel handles me better than anyone ever has.
Thank you, my love.