7 stations on the road to the ocean, after hiroshige (day one)

you leave the world behind you (lot’s wife’s view, should you turn your back to where you’re headed and look instead at what you’re leaving behind–without the drama of fleeing from the burning hell of sodom and gomorrah and that pillar of salt threat, obvsly.)  what you are setting aside, turning away from, is not, visually at least, as awful as one might think,   it has its charms, its beauty, it’s home after all, but when you do turn your back on it (as we will) you feel a lift, there is a flutter of anticipation — not just brought on by standing up too fast –in your heart, that heady combination of fleeing and arriving.

once the day has begun the sound of the ocean dissipates, even though it looks as if you could throw a rock into it from this height, but that roar and boom (shot from a circus cannon) is replaced by the constant thrum of motors, tires on pavement, the engines of commerce heard from as far away as the freeway miles behind you (city dwellers don’t know true silence, do they? neither do those who live closer to the land–only if you listen deeply and you do have to want to listen deeply or you’ll miss the constant hum of the earth.)

but now, as you walk toward the ocean, even when you briefly turn your back on it to see where you’ve been, the crunch of your footfall on the path keeps beat with the rhythm of your heart–should you be accompanied by a four-footed companion–you’ll also have their snuffling as a counterpoint to your tempo, but it all comes together, sweetly and simply.  (i do think that parts of you start to fall off of your body at about this point in your walk to the ocean; the failures, the missed opportunities, the little procrastinations and white lies — even those that keep society civil, all these plus your petty battles for ascendancy, those small triumphs that bolster your insupportable ego, all of that begins to molt so quietly that you’ll not even notice the shadow of their feathered flight on the wind coming up from the ocean below.)


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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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