Friday, March 09, 2007

Water is a Religion

the Pacific Ocean at southern Redwoods beach, CA

In 1993, on All Hallow's Eve, when they still allowed camping here, I camped here overnight with a friend. We pitched the tent in the sea-wind, and built a bonfire in cement ring made for that purpose. We took photos of each other crouched by the fire, naked, Paleolithic, lit by the turbulent flames. We huddled together in the tend for warmth, and made love that night. The full moon rose in the east, climbing over the low hills and illuminating the tent as bright as day. In the morning, we played with the surf in the warm sunlight. I found a flat, round black stone, smoothly polished, on the beach, and carried it in my pocket for a decade afterwards.

On this visit, over 13 years later, I found another polished stone to keep in my pocket, black-green with a single vein of white running through it.

low-tide-exposed boulder, Fort Bragg, CA

arched rock, Myers Creek, south of Humbug Mountain State Park, OR

stream, Humbug Mountain, OR

Water is a religion.

We want to feel it on our skin:
soft rain, waterfalls, rivers,
the encircling ocean.
On skin it slides smooth;
clothing makes walls
between our lives
and our selves.

We want to rise cascading
from the waters,
dripping with scattered sun-diamonds;
to stay in the waterfall
till we lose ourselves
in its mind-releasing roar;
to merge with the salten sea,
blood calling to our blood,
calling us back to the mother.

We want to immerse ourselves
full fathom into the river’s pools,
red-striped fish brushing our calves,
rising draped by green willows,
the air drying our bodies with cool time;
sun warms us, the waters refresh us,
the earth and air our wine-bright loves.

Lakes for the spirit,
Oceans for the mind,
Desert springs for dusty feet,
Deep rivers for the soul.

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