the lost man chronicles
she, her, me .64
Practically every bungalow on this end of the island has a driveway or a lot paved with loose pebbles. At first glance, they all look the same—a standard bland, browned assortment of thumbpad-sized stones. Salted, sun-tanned and windswept, the collection of gravel in everyone's yard is a balanced mixture of white, tan reddish, black, grey and brown. Or, so it seems.
A closer, more patient look might surprise and even beguile the beholding mean just as much as the ground which crackled beneath my bare feet for seven days bewitched me.
Enamored by the mixture of igneous, plutonic and abyssal rock, I spent much of my time belly-flopped upon the ground sorting through scores of surprisingly beautiful arrays of basalt, brownstone, brimstone, chalk, flint, granite, shale, quartz, pumice, limestone, lava, stalactite, soapstone, smokestone, obsidian, and a hundred other kinds of grit spread out in a lusciously random pattern about the house.
Like the curious kid I once was, I selected a few handfuls of precious pieces which I proceeded to handwash and admire from every angle in a variety of tones of light. In the end, I thought I might make a few Zenesque rock gardens with them, with blades of grass bending as bamboo trees in the wind.
At first, I fell in love with the well-rounded gems that were offered in soft colors ranging from sweet vulva rose petal pink, washed khaki, spackled and speckled ivory, and estrus rouge, to all the hues of the halos that I imagine every lover I have ever known wears lithely upon her head.
These cherished stones were smooth, and rustled whispers to me as I gently bathed them in lather and warm water in the pining palms of my hands. In all, I must have placed about a hundred of them out to dry by the breeze sweeping off the bay; and eventually, once fully desiccated, I was pleased to see how they retained their distinctively soothing palate and power over me.
These were the easiest stones to see the beauty of—their curvature, the firm, cool and silky textures, and the way they bent light to give each her distinctive size, voluptuous shape and shade—all blended into nature's art.
It was then that I decided to challenge myself and look beyond she, her and me. For what else could I see that was not so readily apparent? Was there something to be equally pleased by amongst the scattered specimens of imperfection? The call to dig deeper and see what lie before me with a more profound perspective paid off prodigiously.
This is when the Zen motif came into play. Before then, the her and shes of my personal geology were simply destined to circumvent candles and fill sea shells, serving as basin ornaments. But now I began to work my imagination in earnest, and I chose anything that broke the mold, that told a story a million years young, and that inevitably sold me with its lapping tongue of élan, panache, daring flare of form, bright tint or humble blush, and tangible rush of grain grinding pleasurably against the ridges of my wet fingertips.
The spectrum which suddenly spread out before me whet my emotions, with exuberance, fervor, and, if you will, a firm carnal thrill. I immediately rushed to forage frantically once again.
This time instead of the heavenly forms and bodies of the universe: the galaxies, the ellipses, the moons, the rings, the stars and all things circular, I discovered us and the earth. Stalwart girth in thin and mighty columns, pupil-sized whirlpools where a weary soul might rest; ancient henges erected to weather time and bestow honor upon the sublime; jagged edges, precipices and lines meant to test mettle; as well as shiny metals, slivered stone, and pocked marbles of volcanic ash.
The variety was alas endless and fascinating, and stoked promiscuous fantasies of meticulous placement and intuitive arrangement of glassy ovals and paisley swoons of stone leaning against a phallic line of rough-hewned pillars the size of my fingernails, and reclined miniature slabs set for rock-climbing insects to rest.
Complementing all the angles and inclines and crevices, were the fossilized flora and fauna I also found while hunting and gathering. Sliced barnacles, parallel lines hinting at clam shells but which I allowed myself to believe where wings of birds, slices of coral reef galore, and stores of flowers with polygonal petals which redolently perfumed all the myriad other exoskeletal remains.
This pelagic-cum-geomagnetic game became a quiet obsession of mine over those few days, for I was truly amazed by what I found simply by looking just a little closer.
It is a lesson that I do not ignorantly even entertain applying to anything other than the inanimate. For few people can remain still or lie composed long enough for such an indulgent course of appreciation, that is few people beyond the blessed, the satiated and willing lover.
what i would have given .63 65. illuminated stranger