Monday, January 7, 2013

Not even a month ago and you can still hear the waves

It was a Thursday the 13th, how often does that happen in a year or more? Except that this time, it was December. Inside, you were nursing a low-grade fever brought about by a combined anger at the world for what it had become and a more dangerous anger at the self for never having learned to adjust to that world and a weariness unsuited for the season. Seeing the pain that couldn't be disguised by dark glasses, the friend impulsively invited you to tag along to the beach. "Nothing like a night's rest and a walk and a swim to restore your spirit," the host said. So you went, but the waves were rough. You had to take a boat far from the pier where the waters were calmer.
At first you thought that the motorized banca was too frail for the waves, but the host assured you that the beach house was just five minutes away beyond a rock that hid a cove and the house. The shore was covered everywhere with pebbles. There was hardly any fine sand. Your city slicker's feet found the massage on the undersoles a pleasure beyond words. Now who was that hedonistic person who said, "Paradise awaits where the sea meets the land"?
Except for the bed, the lamp, a study table where you had parked your backpack, the room was almost a nun's cell, except that there were no bars on the windows and the doors hardly locked. You let yourself be rocked to sleep by the unceasing music of the waves a few hundred meters below the balcony. As usual, when in a new place you automatically woke up at 4 a.m. and looked for something to lull you back to sleep. You found some books, and before you knew it, you were involved with them.
Inside the book Inner Simplicity was a bookmark with this quotation (a found poem at four in the effing morning!) from Stephanie Dowrick:

Restraint holds you
back from saying
anything that may give
you momentary relief
or even pleasure, but that
causes hurt, confusion
or retaliatory anger. It 
expresses love at best,
or at least an awareness of choice
and some insight that
others' lives have a 
value equal to your
And then you heard it, a faint noise. You put down the books, set aside the ballpoint pen and the notebook and followed your first green visitor. It was too early for a visit, you told the insect quietly, careful not to waken anyone asleep below the floor where you were assigned to. Lit by the lamp, the grasshopper became the subject of your camera.
It might not even have been a grasshopper. It didn't hop. It wasn't fearful, and it allowed you to move around it. It was a welcome distraction, a true apparition in the tired metro(nometer beat) of your life.
Closeup of the creature showed it was as droopy-eyed as you were at that hour of the day. You tried to will it to leave so you and it (he?) both could rest.
Instead, the visitor chose to creep up the wall beside the bed. It was then that you heard another buzz...
...and a bee called out your name. A bee, not a moth, was attracted to the lightbulb. You decided to let it be (okay, okay, too many Beatles and insects at that hour) and return to your reading.
 At an hour considered ungodly by others, you prayed that sleep would return, but it was no good. Soon you found yourself copying some more lines from Ms. Dorwrick into a notebook. 

Promise at all times to take
the time to know yourself,
to be true to your deepest
values and, in so doing, to
be open to all other human
beings... and to the
infinite manifestations of 
beauty and wonder
within nature itself."

At that point you turned off the lamp, decided to wait another hour before singing to yourself a welcome song for a Friday morning.

Photos by Babeth Lolarga   
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