One must be receptive, receptive to the image at the moment it appears.
(from The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard)
In one space the safety and cleanliness of a structured space, in another, the threat of extinction.
It is night, and it is dark, and always, faced with the vastness of a ocean that is black and moving and roaring, the threat of extinction, of utter annihilation. Yours. His. Everyone’s.
The placid expressions of late-night joggers seem almost completely irrelevant next to that blackness that could swallow you whole. This is the closest to infinity you can get out here.
What the darkness conjures is an oath, the last and final breath, an expiration, that comes again and again with every roar of the tide coming in, with every absence of sight (you can’t see anything in this light, it is blurry, the different darknesses run together, the horizon line a thick black border: phantom, ambiguous, wandering). The dilemma of sight requires the ghosting of memory, the water a translation of water, the darkness a distortion of ocean. What is exposed in the air? It is cold. One hardly has the opportunity to feel cold anymore.
Can you grasp the simple feeling of empathy out here? That is, it’s now impossible to feel empathy for anything. The disappearance of empathy as looming and imminent and dangerous as the catastrophic event that is yet to tear the planet apart. The planet will be torn apart. Can’t you feel it coming?
The feeling of a ringing in my ears before an explosion, before something that is about to happen. What?
Poetry is a soul inaugurating a form.
— Pierre-Jean Jouve
What of the form if darkness? What of the form if a formless form, an ocean? What of resonance? Of temperature? Of being in love with your back against the rest of the entire planet on the other side of that blackening black under that strangely deep, profoundly blue sky. The darkest blue night. The moon thinks it’s hiding, exposed again, shifting lights.
That we can call such a breathless and formless thing a word: OCEAN. That we can hold these fixed memories of vertigo, moving lights, faces, all recalled by the sound of the water, the birds running along the shoreline, a handful of sand to feel the beach as a concrete thing. The feeling of sand is cold and expected. The feeling of loss, the breath that comes when you let the grains drop, and the arms that wrap themselves around you afterward, unexpected tremblings of moments.
I take steps towards one of the three birds. It refuses to fly, runs quickly over to the right.
So I waver towards the right, take a few steps toward another bird.
Why are you separating them?
I have no intention in mind.
In response to the perceived continuity of black ocean, I make a gesture filled with uncertainty and regret. Indeed, why?
Seek out the silence that makes your ears ring.
At times, the simpler the image, the vaster the dream.
We want to see and yet we are afraid to see. This is the perceptible threshold of all knowledge, the threshold upon which interest wavers, falters, then returns.
The recognition that the end is very near. It is your responsibility. The guilt, the wound, the future.
Future wound guilt is a conjuration is a towards gesture, illegible but audible, inherited, present, the smell of archived lies and salt.
I’ll come to you in the morning, the message of water.
I’ll come again or I will be there already and I’ll pass through each of the phantoms already circling, circling, sand and broken glass in my hand.
The ocean will speak when there is silence. There will be silence when we stop screaming. We will not stop screaming until we are all already dead.
Apocalypse no longer means the end days no longer means something to-come. It is the way of life, the expression of a permanently muted voice, the abundance of a certain quality of light, meditating under the moon, the inability to capture anything in an image.
The gift that you can not capture the image. The memory becomes the copy becomes the whisper becomes the oath.
I am honest when I say, I love you.
I am honest when I say, I am terrified.
The ocean is terrifying and it may swallow me whole, drowning in water or limbs torn apart by a bracketing of excess, but I am more terrified of my love for you. I don’t understand where it comes from.
Do you understand that when the answers to your questions are, I don’t know, it’s not for lack of enthusiasm or decisiveness, it is the perceived trauma of some dark light that may enter at any minute. This is my crisis, not yours. It is my issue and failure, not yours. When I say, I love you and I don’t know, these statements in the same sentence, same breath, same expression of oblivion, this the most honest I can be.
We are all fated for failure. But that failure can be caressed with the patient strokes of the blue waves and we can hold hands under the moonlight and draw swirls in the sky with our fingers to manipulate the clouds. We can fall together, and when they finally tear me away from you, I will not scream.