Among the Driftwood


There are a few hairs that are just long enough to come over my brow and into my view. I’m looking at them, out of focus, at this moment. I feel an internal silence, quietness, but not peace. Things are still because I feel an unresolvable internal tension. Or maybe it’s just senseless pain.

I walked along a beach. It was shortly after noon. The clouds were low and heavy. I had my camera with me in my backpack. I walked along the beach. Sometimes it’s easier to find pictures when you’re not too eager for them.

An eagle flew overhead. A mother and daughter were one hundred meters away climbing on driftwood and taking pictures with their phones. A flock of long-necked black and white birds floated near the shore.

I picked up a pebble at random, making sure that it wasn’t one that caught my eye. I held it in my hand and walked for a bit. I placed it on a piece of driftwood and said, “There, now you’re unique. You have a new perspective. Don’t let it get to your head. I chose you at random.”

I nearly stumbled onto a dead river otter.

It was lying there among the driftwood, still.

I walked back the way I came, feeling worse than I did before.