Tag Archives: sea

Creating Encounter in Colour: Gold

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I keep on digging, paddling my way into the wet demerara, this sea-soaked sand, hurriedly flinging it away with my flippers. Must dig, must dig, must lay eggs, must lay eggs. This is the only time I feel like a human, with their never ending desperation to get things done so that the next task on the list can hove into view, each one humming away, bee-like on a never-ending Caucus route, crossing things off in hopes of one day finding the finish line, unaware it is immovable and inevitably the casting off of this life.

It is a rare thing that is truly time-constrained. Birthing is one of them. And so I work hard to bury myself in this deep golden grain, the soft and yet abrasive descendants of Abraham remaining defiantly countless, but so many fewer than they ought, by rights, to be. I am sure God, who no longer counts sins, counts these little ones and knows each mustard seed by name.

Having hollowed this hallowed place, I would like to lie down here and die, I am beyond every resource. There is nothing left, but the work only half done. A few shallow groanings, and I divest myself of what has been waiting, all this time, to become treasure. Gelatinous albumen the casket, calcium crust the mantling lock, and inside the gold that will feed each tiny cold-blooded life.

Exhaustion is burning every cell now, and still the work must be completed, the children buried, the brown caramel topping covered and smoothed down. There must be no x marking the spot, that enemies can find them, and no way for this mother to return to the nursery. Here I must leave my heart, and these small beginnings, and hope with everything that is good and holy to encounter familiar seeming tiny turtles when I am traversing the ocean, seeing and recognising the glint in my own eyes before me. Somehow, I lift myself, and turn.

Text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt  Photo from Pixabay

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Creating Encounter in Colour: Seaweed

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So many greens. The brownish tones of bladderwrack, whose name made me wince in imagined pain, little poppable polyps that we loved before bubblewrap was even thought of. The generic dark forest slime slathered across the rocks, coastal combovers, a slip hazard for flip flopped children, so we took ours off and risked gashes and jagged edges rather than not being able to feel our way with our soles. Sand caught on our feet gave us a tiny bit of traction, but we still slid off and flung our arms out to balance ourselves, rockpool tidal tightrope walkers.

Tiny crabs hid under fronds and someone, probably Monsieur Cousteau, had taught me that these were not leaves. Here were hidey holes for entirely new forms of life, creeping, like us, around the edges of ocean, wondering what was what. Even then, I knew my plastic bucket jarred against all nature’s magnificence, with its hard manufactured texture and artificial colour. The bullhead I caught in it, alien eyes bulging, was given a few strands of spinach green to hide itself in, until it was time to release it back into the sea. The capture of such treasure all on my own, in my smallness, fed my happiness all summer long, and taught me the beginnings of diving for pearls in mystic prayer, the joy of glimpsing life in salt water pools, and the realisation that all life is magical.

text © K Dibbens-Wyatt  Photo from Pixabay

Lent 33

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Gifts from the sea are boiled or battered, carved or scraped, hung out to dry in the sun, or bleached on racks. Only the pearl is allowed to retain its shape, and must not be opened up, smashed, cooked, consumed, but instead, valued, held, set in gold.  What makes this globule of oozed protection precious?

Learning from oysters, perhaps we might see that the real beauty of the prize is the transformation of what pollutes us, the redemption of irritants, and that the glow of the pearl is not of this world, but is transfiguration.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Landscape of Love 94: Shoreline

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Weary feet sinking into dark demerara sand, and the sweetness pushes up between my toes. Waves crashing and rolling unstoppably to kiss where my legs and ankles meet, soaking the joining places. Wind whispers stored in abundance in the emptiness of scattered hells, softly saying, “the sea, the sea,” remembering all the forgotten words of Iris and all the writers who have stood here before and listened. And you, dearest you, cross legged a little way back, cooking breakfast on the brazier, looking over to where I am. The smile that breaks into dawning across your face, lights up the sky, and catches the dull ache of my heart in your net, lifting it, like the seagull suddenly caught above us in a thermal of grace.

 

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

160: Walled Garden

 

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Despite being closed off from the world, this garden is a site of the deepest sharing, soul to soul in silence. A place for the holy holding of hands, of mutual smiles and locked gazes. Romance and contemplation find a home here, senses drifting through the spears of lavender and lost in the hypnotic trickle of the fountain, a lion’s mouth dribbling into a stone basin.

It may be sheltered from the worst winds, but if you sit on this bench, shift your haunches back into the wood and close your eyes, you can still smell the ozone as it breezes in from the ocean a half mile away. Sea spray finds its way here, up a long and sandy track edged by waving grasses, settling on the face of any still stranger like the softest sting of snowflakes or an unexpected barrage of kisses.

A haven then, a sanctuary, a cloistered place out of the world’s way, where you are held firmly by oaken hands and your feet touch ground made sacred by the removal of sandals, beach grains shaken in a pile to one side, soles communing with cool earth.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

143: Estuary

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Sinking deep, stretching wide, belly fulsome with water, here lies a strange and fertile peace. More comings and goings than ever, a release and a welcome of tides, trading salt for fresh,  Living Water meeting Dead Sea; and yet, here a stillness in the expansive mud flats born at the edges and a freedom in the largeness to be anything and everything, as the oyster catchers burst upwards in a frantic flourish, spooked by movement, a spill of white paint on the canvas of a low horizon. Rainclouds crowding in to gaze at their own reflections in the vast bay, before migrating across the ocean on streams unseen.

A yawning place, opening out for exchange, greeting the foreign, pushing out the excess, learning the difference between empty and full and regretting neither. In and out, to and fro, back and forth, the unforced rhythms of grace are louder and softer here than in any place that was merely river.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

129: Depths

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Down in the turquoise blue I see shapes as I skim across the water like a winged stone. My dragon eyes pick out fossil, skeletal structures in waiting, impatient for flesh to find them. The framework is all given, ready for the making now that it has been glimpsed. For what are we all waiting for but life? And what are we all constructed of, but our inner workings? To be clothed in art, truth and glory, this is our destiny.

And meanwhile, we sit on the seabed, sleeping, on the rock shelf, straining to see beyond the meniscus. We need the mantle to be passed on, a wrapping, ravelling, a new skin, now that we are down to the bare bone.

Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

 

123: Beach

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Free and wild, newly released, here you stand still at first, on the edges of the ocean, where the sea meets the shore. What is there to do then, but close your brown eyes in wonder, let the salt tang whip through your mane, and bow your head, ready to charge at the future? Run, canter, gallop, the wet sand flying up behind you, the curves of tide seeping back and forth over your hoofmarks. Raise your neck and whinny in the pleasure of vast fresh horizons.

Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015