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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ft. Bragg

I keep meaning to write.

You know, it’s not that I don’t want to, though honestly the words haven’t come as readily as I’d like.  It’s more or less that by the time I actually have a moment to sit down and actually do my thing I either have something else come up which offers more of an instant gratification fix or else I find myself forgetting what (if anything) I had wanted to write about.  I also tend to write a lot of good - really good - stuff in my head, and when I finally get to typing it out, it comes out as crap and I don’t have the heart to publish it.

So… Vegas… was… awesome.  I hope against all hope I can transcribe some of what I wrote in my paper journal, even if it’s just snippets, because I just haven’t had the time to sit down and tell people face to face what it was like and what we did.  Sadly, that’s what I miss most about Vegas - the face to face.  Even though Doma & Miss D had some time to themselves without TDO & I tagging along, there were rarely many hours between getting to see them.  Is it weird to say that I miss the people I only just met for the first time more than I miss my parents?  Well.  I do.

We got back on Monday, TDO’s mom left on Wednesday and we had a slew of things to do before we took off on Monday for our annual spring Ft. Bragg trip.  Ft. Bragg is always dreary and rainy this time of year, but I love that about this time of year.  We know that the beaches won’t be over crowded and I find a certain peace and tranquility in the misty rain.  It’s like a yearly soul cleaning, I guess.

What really drove it home for me was when we were sitting out on the beach this evening after having dinner at The Wharf, and it occurred to me exactly what it is.  Putting that “exactly what it is” into words is more complicated than having the connections made in my brain, however.

You see, I grew up in Colorado.  The biggest body of water I saw with any regularity was the Green Mountain Falls lake, which, um, forgive me back home, but, it’s more of a glorified pond.  Seriously.  If there are qualifications for being a lake instead of a pond, this one just barely covers them, if at all.  Fountain Creek ran right by our house, but at it’s deepest and swiftest (spring melt) it wouldn’t have come up to more than my hip nor done more than knocked me off my feet a bit.  So when classmates dreamed of or discussed working at Sea World or studying Marine this or that, I sort of laughed at them and ‘Oh yes, how very nice for you’ poo-pooed their dreams.  Who needs the ocean?  I mean, really.  We had MOUNTAINS and THUNDERSTORMS and forests and ... well, shoot, I’m a mountain girl at heart, and always will be.  It never occurred to me I could possibly be missing out on anything until I went camping on the beach with my then best friend, Carrie, during our senior year of high school.

Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean - the real sound, not just a recording - is like nothing you will ever do.  It is comparable to falling asleep to the low rumble of thunder, not in sentiment or tone, but in the sheer archaeic power and awe inspiring purity.  It’s not just falling asleep listening to the ocean that does it, though, it’s more of a trance thing, a letting yourself go and getting sucked through time and space, into the vast knowledge and power that is the ocean.

People who grew up around the ocean will talk and write about how they go to the sea to clear their heads or when they want to contemplate choices in their lives.  They will tell you how purifying it is to the mind and soul.  Whenever Andrea would write about such, I always read on in amazement and with a certain, hm, kindred spirit feeling, as I feel the same when climbing to the top of a mountain and looking down at the scenery below.  But.  it’s different.  But the same.

Now that we’ve made Ft. Bragg a yearly Spring Break tradition (on top of other various visits, including those in the summer) I have picked up more of the fondness for the ocean that goes deeper than, “oh isn’t it pretty” or “wow that’s big” or even “this is really relaxing.”  It’s almost like when someone stops to ask you directions in the town you live in and it dawns on you that you’re the one giving directions instead of asking for them, for a change. 

So, yeah, tonight I saw upon the rocky shore of Glass Beach.  I watched the shifting colors of the waves, contemplating the depth and breadth, the sheer uncountable array colors, for a long time.  To focus on color - just color - seems like a shameful waste of time, but in that moment, at that point in time, to become such a part of something so timeless, so powerful, so intense, to such a deep level… well, even if I can’t put it into words, I can say that I have only rarely invested such quality time in anything. 

The water which is our destroyer, our tormenter, our love, our nurturer, our lifeblood spread out as far as one could see, crashing upon the sand and stone, teaming with life that had been developing there for millions - MILLIONS of years… the delight in the sound of children ringing off the cliffs, the gulls fat and rude as any human you’ve ever met screaming, “I am! I am!” just as loud and long as any human you’ve met.  The world captured in the perfect beauty of the shifting clouds that are shaded in hues of purple.  The tang of salty air bringing to mind all the history, lore, and stories of mermaids and underwater Gods.  All of this… all captured in a tiny slice of one person’s life, filling it up with so much meaning that could otherwise go unnoticed or unknown.

I guess to put it simply, my soul never knew it was starving until it feasted upon the wonders of the shore.

Posted by Liberty on 04/13 at 01:34 AM
Posted under: See-Through

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Andrea  at  04/13/06 09:59 AM

Yes.  Exactly.

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