Monday, May 07, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Ocean

When I was young, I had many dreams that occurred like memories of another life. They had no action to them, and they repeated themselves over time. It's like hoving over a snapshot.... only I could feel the emotions of the moment. This writing comes from one of those dreams.
She stood on the weathered dock like a ghost, pale grey and lifeless. Her long skirts hung with the weight of multiple layers of wool and petticoats, sodden with unrelenting rain. Only the crisp blue of her eyes seemed alive, constantly scanning the endless horizon of swirling water.

Some called her “The Watcher”, others “The Widow,” though never the latter when she was nearby. Even the slightest inference that he wouldn’t return was met with glaring blue steel from those vivid eyes. Death was not an option in her world. Just endless waiting for the proper conclusion.

Wild winds whipped stray pieces of hair about her face, lashing her skin with cold, wet wisps that had escaped her untidy bun. Around her shoulders was a tattered crocheted shawl that provided no protection or solace from the storm. And yet, she seemed unaware of the squall around her. She just stood, stone still against a large wooden post, and stared out to sea.

The Nor’easters had come early this year. Late enough in the season that wise and wealthy crews had finished their haul and come in… but early enough to catch small fishing boats who had stayed too long. Unlucky were those working class men whose livelihood depended on their haul. Some had returned. But a few remained asea, above and below the waves.

One long pale hand, cold and wet, reached up as if with a life of its own, to the locket she wore. Old beaten metal full of hope, she clutched it whenever her thoughts were darkest. Day after day now, she’d watched ships larger and stronger than his, come limping home, battered from the gale. She was dockside when the dawn broke, and still at her post when it slipped below the horizon again, but still no word had come. No sign. No affirmation. Just raging waters and bleak barren skies.

Her petite lips moved, whispering prayers to any who would listen. To God, that he might protect him. To Poseidon, that he might return him. To Davy Jones, that he might reject him from a water grave and send him back to the surface. And in her blackest moments, though she would admit it to no one, she would pray to the Sirens, that they might recognize a good man, and care for him if they could not send him back.

Time became meaningless. Aging, pointless. The universe had frozen in this moment….. eternally waiting, praying, searching. And bit by bit, she is eroding, like the shores and pier pilings, her hopes dashed on the rocks in endless waves.
*picture from this website


sundaycynce said...

Spectacular and evocative imagery. Beautifully written and poignantly real. My heart hurts for your lady in her unending vigil.

Indeed perhaps you have been there; this seems too real for just a dream.

Tag said...