For two days it had been blue grey drizzle, punctuated by periodic deluges that slapped at the windows, sending the dogs under the table. The unexpected monsoon shook loose the dead leaves from my live oak and washed them across the lawn into rusty mounds. My potted tomatoes split across their plump half ripe bellies, unable to refuse more water than they could hold.
Without appointments on these days, this discerning being chose to “hole” up at home. I donned socks, curled in a chair, and attended to my extraordinarily patient paperwork. I created dreams of a tidy weather tight home in the North; smugly green and beautiful in it’s efficiency. Our home would be steadfast beacon of comfortable living with minimal planetary impact.
I am allowed the luxury of imagined living in “other places” by virtue of my big brain human-being status. This, and the prevailing postulate of my species: Humans have the right to dominate over all other life forms. This philosophy allows great latitude in our dealings with all other nonhuman cohabitants of the planet, and it’s so convenient! Omnipotence feels great as long as one hums loud enough to drown out everything but ourselves.
“man’s attempt to establish dominion over nature”
“at the time the Spartans had dominion over Athens” (Vocabulary.com)
It was still early, we found only two cars at the beach lot. A deserted beach was surprising on this bright morning in February, at the apex of the Southern Emigration season. It was snowing heavily for the second day in the Northern tundra. On this day in southwestern Florida, the sky was an exquisitely clear robin’s egg blue. The southeast winds pushed hard across the face of the Gulf. The waveforms pulsed endlessly, rhythmic heartbeats of a restless goddess radiating throughout her domain. Amphitrite doesn’t miss anything in this; her personal providence. It may be frozen someplace else, but the blood is flowing here, pounding really; pounding in our ears.
I felt it, even before I saw the refuse. I felt the moan under the waves and the scream in the wind. The water was milky, churned up and opaque. The wind didn’t create this howl; the wind was mourning the losses.
Offshore the sand dredger stood anchored above their next prey. Working day and night for weeks, they had plunged the impossibly huge mouth of the vacuum into the belly of the Gulf. Grabbing all, suffocating all, moving the sand with the empathy of a Giant’s foot on an anthill. It was pumped up to plump up the pricey beachfront that had of late, looked wan and gangly. The hanging roots of the beach grass lay exposed to the sun. The dune barely stood; sliced open by wave and wind.
The expensive condos at the legal edge of the dune are winter home to beings with ownership sensibilities and the “wherewithal” to protect their investment. The privilege of living close to a barrier beach had not taught them to see. These condo folk have “dominion,” and a pretty short life span. What chance do a millions mollusks and a some unconscious crustaceans have in the face of such obvious entitlement?
As long as “gravity” holds out on this planet, sand and water will ebb and flow, swirl and sway. They are in perpetual dance; forever and for all time. It’s a perpetual call and response with these two, the mediums of elemental architects.
Form + energy /time=natural forms
We walked amidst deep piles of small shells, small mountains of amorphic sponges drying in the wind, a sea cucumber, even a dead raccoon lay eyeless and rolling at the edge of the angry waves. A red sand dollar just recently alive in a nearby aquatic suburb lay drawn and quartered across the sand. The red color suggested the color of blood. Insinuating, if only in my soul; what if this was a human body? What if we were ripped from our comfy chairs and supermarket parking lots and sprayed out into the universe for some “higher purpose?” Suddenly this clear windy day at the edge of the sea became an apocalypse.
On this day, life at the edge of the sea was about domination, disrespect and death. This wasn’t a hunt for lunch, protection of young, or survival. What gives us the right to destroy so much?
Call for the Valkyries, there be heroes here. Although not human ones. Valkyries are the mythic women who carry swords they never use, who chose the heroes that will die in the man-made battles, women who scoop up those that will live forever. They are the place where good and evil are not clearly distinguishable, they are the same.
Bring them to Valhalla; it’s not safe here
All artwork by Arthur Rackham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Rackham)
|All artwork by Arthur Rackham Images from http://www.1st-art-gallery.com|
|Born||19 September 1867
Lewisham, Kent, England
|Died||6 September 1939 (aged 71)
Limpsfield, Surrey, England
|Known for||Children’s literature|