There it was, under the blue sky, the birth and death of mother.
It was mother’s ghost, bearing the rain, who came to speak of sorrow.
When one might not know to abandon her children, she might not know the embrace of death.
Haunting isn’t for the dead but for the living, be prepared for the sea to be your confession.
I recall something that Will Alexander says during dinner. We’re talking about the state of the world, about cosmic energy, about the apocalypse, about everything that is already here, about boxes, and about the weather. We discuss all the things that writing seems to be about these days, how petty some things seem to be. He remarks about how it’s petty to write simply about love affairs. That the only thing writing can be about now is weather, not love affairs. Or love affairs through the weather.
I think about the howling state of the world. Don’t things seems more chaotic than usual? Don’t things seem calmer? More serene? Doesn’t it all feel a bit haunted to you? I mean, I don’t see how we can live in the same world and I can feel all of these things and you can’t. Where do our worlds overlap these days? I feel increasingly distanced from you.
Ocean Beach Pier at night, recalls a certain image. I always remember one particular night when it was red tide and so the incoming tides and subtle movements of the water revealed a strange and eerie glow, the small but numerous bioluminescent dinoflagellates causing the water to glow blue. The same night the pier was full of people fishing, different colored glow sticks tied to the ends of their lines for visibility. And amidst the already eerie symphony of light and darkness, the fireworks from Sea World started to go off. I’m somewhere else, I thought. It was utterly chaotic: all of the different lights and people and flopping fish and voices and boom boxes, and it was utterly beautiful and calm: the darkness, the glow, the perfect home for ghosts and their sorrow.
I talk with a friend about our special places. Those places that we go to for relief or inspiration or serenity or a break from everything else. That it is significant when you bring another person to one of those special places with you for the first time. The Salton Sea is one of my special places. So too, is the Ocean Beach Pier.
Of course, too, the Ocean Beach Pier holds a certain significance only in my imagination. It is that night I always recall when walking down to the edge of the Earth. It is those ghosts I feel like I can hear, even with the crying children and the smell of fish attempting to pollute my intimate moment with the sea.
When mother spoke out loud, the first word was blue.
Blue was the color of a confession given under the sign of the fish.
Swimming wildly under golden glints of sunlight, the fish only knew to embrace the sorrow
Sorrow is mother is the utterance of a embrace that is the color blue.
Can’t you feel it with your eyes, the intensity of its sorrow.
Only when you encounter death and its embrace can you feel the sun setting behind your eyes.
At the end of the pier, it is like you are at the end of the world. Standing on the southern tip, there is only darkness and infinity. If you stand in the right position, the lights of the city don’t even exist anymore. This is the ocean that can swallow you whole without flinching, without anyone noticing. You could disappear into the blackness, and here, no one would ever notice. Is this a similar kind of loneliness to the terrifying solitude of outer space?
Don’t you realize that it’s all always leading up to this one moment of death.
Here the caw or beckon of a bird, here a creature’s wound.
The wound is the only language that is understood by mother.
Glory is the sun is the fish’s stomach embracing the eyes of death.
Or the sorrow is only known when death is a ghost behind your shoulder, that blue embrace.
Feel with your eyes, and death might already exist at the bottom of your stomach.
Today, the sun hasn’t yet set. It is that in-between time. Bare-footed regulars selling their wares alongside the shore. One plays a flute with his nostril. Families are fishing. Kids are running around without care for the couples who are trying to walk on a romantic evening out. I have the urge to kick the kids, each and every one of them. Instead I grab the hand of my companion and squeeze. I am very conflicted about my feelings.
Some families have set up tents and radios. They will be here for awhile.
The water is utterly blue and large patches of kelp decorate the surface. The smell of fish is unmistakable, unavoidable. I want to lean harder against the railings but they are covered in bird poop and fish guts. I don’t really care.
Today too, there is a visitor, seeming to beg like a dog at the dinner table. He is enthusiastic, determined. He does not leave. He starts to bark louder even. Louder.
Even with all of the people, it is incredibly calm to be here, so close to the edge of the world, so close to infinity, so close to dying. Like walking out to meet yourself. It is only you out there, no one else.
Embracing the blue death of mother brings the rain, the night, the feelings.
Embracing mother brings the sorrow, the sky, the wound of confession.
I confess that I miss my mother.
Go, little bird, to the blue wound in the sky.
Go, taste the death of night and the color of salt: ghost.
Ghosts that flutter like salt in the blue waves that beckon.
Ghosts that flutter between the blades of grass and call out mother in the night.
It is night now and I can not sleep.
It is night now and I can sense the nostalgia of rain but the rain is not here, no, not yet, the rain.
There is, for me, a profound difference between the ocean and the beach. I don’t consider myself a beach person at all. But the ocean is a wholly different place, a place where you can confront the terror of loneliness, of the unknown, of the deep, blue ocean that is the ocean.
The sun setting behind the clouds create radiant rays of light that burst outwards like the cover of a religious pamphlet. These are the kinds of scenes that can be used to justify the existence of God, the kind of beauty that can be described as holy, sacred.
Here it was, the extracted embrace of a cow’s stomach lying out there in the night.
Here it was, the salt of sorrow in the blue wound we call home, the home that will soon be obliterated by the color of feeling, the ghost of blue.
The home that will be covered over with your confession, a dying fish out in the sun, neglected, haunted.
The cow is the fish set out to dry.
The cow is the stomach that churns during the sky’s clear and resonant confession.
The heat is what you feel when you wake up in the morning.
The heat of a million dying fish. It is night. It is blue.
Where is mother now?
Bring the light, says the dying fish.
It is already here, says the dead cow.
You are ghosts already, sings the sky, blue and salty and hidden under your wound.
The ghost is what you feel when you wake up in the morning.