Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Walking With Waves


...thinking, wondering, imagining...lust, love, loneliness...building, dissolving, receding...this, this, only this...*




*...was walking by myself along this beach in south Jersey, from populated areas to a somewhat wilder one by the wildlife sanctuary—sand above the surf line roped off to protect nesting areas for piping plovers, people allowed to walk through but not stop, sunbathe, or swim, since the shy little birds need to run to and from the water, and won’t if anybody’s in the way...seems reasonable enough, so keep up a steady pace—seeing no plovers...(sorry, that’s not one in the picture)...though can’t deny looking probably more than watchful boyfriends like at women in bathing suits...but, more than that, another, less superficial and piggish aspect of mind caught on someone...far inland...wondering if she thinks about me...imagining, hoping...that old song...tip-toeing a narrow course between solitude and loneliness, dipping precipitously, despite such gorgeous tranquil surroundings, seemingly made for peaceful reflection, toward the latter...trying once again to be mindful...and all that...observe thoughts floating by instead of getting caught up in them...gain that awesome sense of wonder found in pondering the infinite in one’s own breath, sun on skin, cold salt water on the toes, even a bit of pain in one hip from walking so much in the sand...for a sudden moment feeling somewhat jarring comfort in the knowledge that, really, I know nothing else...the rest only thinking, imagining, longing...speculation on reality that’s always something else...and not even that ten minutes later...gettin’ all Krishnamurti-like n’ shit....and then, of course, thinking about writing about it, maybe quoting that famous William Blake line, something like “to see infinity in a grain of sand, eternity in an hour”...( having to work by memory even once the walk is through, since there’s no Collected Poems of William Blake nor consistent internet access at the beach house)...though, by the time I got back, reduced it all to the few simple formulae above...wondering if the wave thing’s too clichéd...as well as whether a cliché’s always such a bad thing....or whether anybody’s gonna get what I’m talking about at all....anyway, it works a whole lot better than all this...doncha think?

21 comments:

Bob Weisenberg said...

Beautiful! Just beautiful. (Sure am glad I bought the unabridged version of this blog that includes all the footnotes.)

(You already know how I feel about waves. Cover of my eBook and website.)

Thank you for this wonderful Yogic poetry.

Bob

Elephant said...

Bob just tweeted this. I love this. Sometimes I think we're all trying to be witty and silly and sharp and profound and letting loneliness lie open is the rarest thing.

Downright Kerowhacky, it's why I loved reading Jack, he made loneliness and love sweet and beautiful and okay.

Thanks brother.

Lydia said...

The image soothed me; so creamy and beautiful - with the solitary bird seeming to represent your walking meditation with thoughts as exposed and bracing as the sea air.

Rebel Road Sister said...

I was at cape may last night! Such a cute little town. And no, cliche's are not such a bad thing :)

earthtoholly said...

Hi drjay. May I suggest a soundtrack for your post? "I Am Yours" by Derek and the Dominoes. For me, this song captures the mood of your words, especially "...mind caught on someone...far inland...wondering if she thinks about me..." Little song that is big on emotion.

I believe I get what you're saying, and yeah, I'm pretty sure she's thinking of you... .

Brooks Hall said...

This is beautiful, Jay!

The Aethernaut said...

The thing about clichés is that many clichés caught on for a good reason - when you are living it, it's really not so trite.

Lindsay said...

I love this. Beautiful. I read somewhere once that "loneliness is the human condition" which is a contradiction in itself. Your writing captures the essence of many moments in my life. Thank you for reminding me that I am human ... and not alone.

Laura said...

"...that awesome sense of wonder found in pondering the infinite in one’s own breath..." This line really caught my heart's attention...as everyone else has said above, beautiful writing Dr Jay. We are all alone...we are all connected...both statements are true...loneliness comes and goes like the ebb and flow of the sea, the ebb and flow of lifetimes of love that last for years or simply moments that feel eternal...and whose to say how long eternity really is anyway...in truth it is a theoretical concept/construct...maybe it is/was only a breath.

nothingprofound said...

Lovely stream of-consciousness. Reminded me of Stephen's beach walk in Ulysses, musing on the waves and life. Sea and sand and birds will do that to you; make you reflect on the meaning of it all.

Melinda said...

I so agree with the other comments, Jay--this is absolutely a beautiful, serene and haunting piece. I also feel you must be reading my mind.

Les and I are currently in Maine and I felt much the same way you described yesterday, as I was walking along the beach. I wonder what it is about the sea that beckons human in such a profound way. Perhaps it is because we always feel introspective when we are close to our roots: the sea.

Take care,

Melinda

writeonyoga said...

I can't tell you how much I miss walking with the waves. Love the pic, and the photo caption is perfect.

Lana Gramlich said...

I've been aching to get to the beach again--for over a year now. And in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon thing I learn, again, to strike while the iron is hot. :(

Elize said...

this is beautiful... something so overpowering where the water meets the land...

distracted by shiny objects said...

...a narrow course between solitude and loneliness...
Well done.

AD Miller said...

A lovely post and a beautiful photo. Makes me nostalgic for Cape May and our walks through the sand and the plovers--walking quickly, of course. I'm planning to spend tomorrow on my bike, admiring the foothills and the Cache le Poudre trail. Though there is certainly something to be said for solitude, as you point out, I'll still be wishing I had my favorite yogic cyclist to accompany me, but will think of you as I slog along on legs that are decidedly not used to cycling lately.

DrowseyMonkey said...

observe thoughts ... don't get caught up in them. so hard to do - will take me a lifetime to do that, even then maybe not. You describe it so well.

Erika C. said...

You take me there. Thanks. I love summer. This summer is going too fast so it is good to savor the moments.

warmly,
Erika

Bob Weisenberg said...

earthtoholly.

Derek and the Dominoes--the greatest album in the history of rock.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Bob Weisenberg said...

Decided to see how many people agree with me about Layla:

http://bit.ly/bXJNAC

Should be interesting.

Bob W.

Juliana Matthews said...

What a delightful piece!
Living on an island, I get to see the beach and the sea an awful lot and our next house move will be to a place on the beach.
I find waves meditative, I find the grains of sand and the pebbles give me a sense of my own smallness in this world and how brief my time here is.