Beach Meditation II
By Scott-Patrick Mitchell
I’ve been thinking about all the ways we get wet. This is not a euphemism. Or is it. With enthusiasm, I draw a dotted line down the map of my body. As cartographer, I tread this path every day and still I cannot fathom the depths of my own blood. How there is an archive in each artery, bone a rolodex of dense thoughts, other bodies having pushed into mine. When I cry, I let a little ocean out. Small gods of weather form storms in the couloir of my skull. An ancestry of helix, doubling. Code connecting graft of skin to an abstraction. Remember: water is not a static point, but the canyon is.
There’s a sadness in writing about something I will never see with my own eyes.
Throw voice into waves. Tide on leash. I often dream of becoming a dog. Keep four with black fur inside myself. I mention this because I am still to equate the joy of watching a canine leap into the lip of a wave to anything a human can do. Scrub. Dunes. Collect rubbish. Wear gloves. Unpluck all the fragments from inside yourself that cause hurt: you can’t. The task stretches 4,500 metres deep into your psyche. See how I switch the frame to make us the same. If only for an instant. Remember: blood is rarely static, but the body will be often. When the sun sets, it can sometimes turn the whole sky fuchsia. We paint stars on the inside of our eyelids so we know how to navigate the night.
And still we get lost.
Hence the joy of coming up, out, into. Beneath, I imagine a constellation of angler fish guiding us on. Notice how I’ve added specifics not applicable to this landscape. Too deep, our thoughts drown. What element is the final collective breath. A crown of coral, of seaweed, of land consumed. We think so much of the crisis, but have you thought of the world beyond all this when this ends. What of the world below: how do we dry a soaked coast. Unspoon an ocean. Swallow.
Remember: thoughts are never static. And the brain is electrical. Tomorrow, a new distraction, a new poem. But still the same niggling unknown. How vast they are, all these things we do not see. But we feel them, there, just beneath the horizon.