2236312313My neck ached, and I wondered if I needed to update my contact prescription again: the rocks and shells seemed so far away, strewn there like petals at my feet.

I walked and walked, my right foot piling up sand in a glob that made me look like I wore a bush rather than toes.  The footprints from my left seemed perfect, high-arched, like the ones on those bookmarks with that poem.

Below, years – thousands, millions, dozens? – piled into tiny shards of mostly stone, a glistening bruise of mussel dancing purple once in a while.  I was hunting sharpness though and glint. Sea glass.  Not that old, human crafted, discarded . . . mine anew.

Every once in a while I looked up to gasp at the glory of the river delta. Sun just bending toward it’s exuberant disappearance.  The water, then, was dappled – a cliche so perfect that I can find no other to describe it.  A glimpse up and all that enormous goodness.

I took a sip of all that and looked down to the tawny, chocolate stones, down to the globes of glass that rasped my feet clean. Looking hard and small.

***

We say with some small disdain that “she missed the forest for the trees.” A buffoon, short-sighted, unable to grasp “the big picture.”  And surely that is true sometimes, especially for me.

Yet, in the trees, the barnacles of fungus, the ebb and flow of bark, the crab-like ants that scamper, there is the whole forest.  A koan writ too simple, I know.

Still, here, when I sit to add one tiny globe of language at a time. Here, when the world exists in the difference between dappled and dapper.  The tree, the tiniest glint of green the color of a locust leaf in August, the matter lives there.

This word, then this one.  With gasps of it all wrapped round.