Sunday, October 10, 2010

(We can) trust the sea

We can trust the sea
to wrap haloes around hard places

trust it to organize what sometimes seems too much or too brittle 
into patterns of intricacy, intention and beauty.

See how these infant barnacles have colonized the rock's 
deep cracks, transforming them into mooring places 
where new life burgeons? 

The sea knows what to hold
what to release 
and when 

it relies on the tides' insistence

and assistance

And sometimes. . . well, sometimes it seems we have to stand 
on our heads and do flick-flacks before we see - or can recognize - 
there's a small flinty continent inside each and every one of us 
that's all things at once; breastplate, boat, ancient instrument, stepping stone, ocean, heart. . .

Blessings and love to you all during these mystifying times. 


  1. Wow.

    This is beautiful, Claire. And true.

    The sea is the best feature of our planet, if you ask me, once you account for a place to stand on to admire it, and a blue sky to stretch over it. All that heaving movement, all that energy and gorgeousness, and the life packed into every inch and drop of it, the mysteries of it, the way it carries so much of the past in itself...I can't stand on the shore and fail to think about how the surf against the rocks is probably the single physical event that is unchanged since the seas were formed. It makes me hope that all of that inertia will carry the sea forward, out of our time, so it might survive us, despite our best efforts to destroy it and everything else we touch.

    Anyway. I think this post is beautiful and I'm grateful to you for it.



  2. Very wise words, Claire, and glorious photographs. The heartbeat of the world--I miss not living so close any more--but you've captured, in language and pictures, what I couldn't articulate about the sea and its deep knowledge. Thank you. xL. M.

  3. Your hypnotic photos, each a small mystery. The sea appears to be teacher and friend. From your place of quiet you have found much to impart, identifying our flinty center where all things reside. I am soothed by your discoveries.

  4. a sumptuous, quietly exhilarating post, claire. as it happens, i've just returned from a walk on the beach. youve expressed so beautifully many of my own inchoate thoughts...
    cheers & thank you,

  5. I worry for the sea. What we have done through overfishing. This writing and these images are exquisite. They say so much about how much we have to lose. Thanks, Claire.

  6. Thank you, dear Claire for strong and subtle! Such fine photos--quiet colors.

  7. Hello Scott - lovely to find you here. Thanks for visiting, for trailing your hands through the water here and leaving a message.

    Yes, the sea is a wonder, a miracle. Do you know this quote by Arthur C. Clarke -
    "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when clearly it is ocean'?

    Not long now till The Woman at the Verge is home. Your house will be sparkling. You have been so patient.

    L, C

  8. Dear Melissa - the sea's deep knowledge. . . yes, if we can sit beside it, or know its company within us, it can teach us many things. I am grateful I live within reach of it. When we can't get to it, we still have access to its mysteries and presence. I know you know this and experience it, too. Love to you, dear Sparrow. C xx

  9. Dear Marylinn and Susan - I wonder whether when one of us walks a local beach, pitches a tent away from 'it all' , lies quietly to absorb the quiet, sets out to explore a forest or clamber to the top of a mountain, we do so for those of us who - in that moment - are tucked up at home asleep or reading, gardening or preparing a meal. . . That in some ways, whatever we do we can do it with the idea of 'we' rather than 'I'. That way we're able to do what we can and must wherever we are, knowing that in some measure or other, our friends are sharing the experience - - - and vice versa? I like the idea of this, very much. . . the idea that we can be on our own and in community wherever we are; I can walk a beach with and for you. You can enter a forest, a room of words when I cannot... (I'm just thinking aloud here --- but if this were so, what oceans of possibilities it opens up?) L, C x

  10. Dear Elisabeth

    I worry for the sea, too. Some marine scientists speak doom and gloom, others offer up reassurances; the latter tend to see the sea in the way we might see skin, I think, and speak of its capacity to heal and renew itself.

    This might be so, but still. . . we also know the effects of repeated abuse. At some point, we have to step away from the pattern and put a stop to the madness. Why is this, I wonder? Why when we see and hear the ocean's lament, is it so hard for us to walk towards it (or away, as is also sometimes necessary) in compassion? We can be curious, sometimes damnable creatures, can we not - even in the face of wonder?

    I hope you're doing okay re; your Dog Stories. . . stand in your heart and all will ultimately be well.

    Love to you in Sydney, Elisabeth.

  11. Dear Mim and T. Clear - your presence here is always balm. Thank you xx