Monday, September 4, 2017


You don't have to travel far to get the feeling.

This evening we ate pasta on the back deck and then took the canoe out for the second time, at dusk, driving down the peninsula to the bay above which I used to live, where the liveaboards blanket the harbour and the inlet stretches north in a glassy cloth to the islands. The bigger islands. The small island that is Dead Man's and the slightly larger that is Senanus. The moon was rising and the north still orange. We had wine and chocolate and ginger candies and blankets, my love and his daughter, two peas in a red canoe. We stopped at the boat, the gentle wreck, its sides now spotted with barnacle ghosts from its neglected winter. We snacked and talked about sleeping the night out in the cockpit. Then dropped into the canoe again and paddled up the inlet in the dark, taking the west side to hide the moon. First, the moon jellyfish carpeted the bay. And then as we hit the shadows, the phosphorescence. First, faint meteors with each paddle stroke. Then the hand-dipping. The stars splaying out from fingers. Then we nudged the shore and saw that every movement of the water against the barnacles and rocks and mussels and sea weed was producing their stars. The shore a galaxy. The shallows a conference of congenial light. Our hands nebulas. C's daughter the urbane become spellbound with the light of their bodies. When a boat shone its search light in our direction and kept it trained, we all three gave back the finger, in unison, an automatic, gleeful, serious response to this interruption of joy and respite from work. Twenty minutes from home, the sea warm, sea calm, air warmer, the unbroken wave of the hills above us, the stars in all quadrants. Grounded in water, teaching my childhood to another, sending the blade of the paddle through the dark sea and lighting it. Cradling the jellyfish in a palm. Sharing the wine. In two days I start a semester teaching about place and landscapes of the heart. It's coming. There's no way I can stop it now. This night seems the glorious response, the life that feeds the list.