Ripples On A Pond
Dec. 14th, 2003

The winds have changed yet again, blowing warmth into an otherwise cold day. The ocean called, I visited. We sat there for a few minutes looking at each other; nothing much to say. Sometimes all you can do is sit still for a few minutes and be OK with that. Sometimes a friend whispers something into your ear, sometimes she doesn't. Either way you get up, you shake the sand from your sandals and keep moving.

No two Sundays are ever going to be the same no matter how much ritual we pump into them. We try and try and try to keep things the same, but they won't stay the same. They can't. That doesn't seem to be the order of things down here. Oh yeh, the rules. Well, there's the rules. But the rules keep changing too. So the best I can do is keep shaking the sand from my sandals and moving on. "Five scrambled eggs with roasted poatatoes and a double cappuccino please. No, I don't mind that you'll have to charge me for everything a la carte. That's what I want, that's what I always get and that's what I always pay for, thank you."

I'm not the man I was ten years ago, but some of the choices I made then are with me still; ripples on a pond. Sometimes I regret the choices, sometimes I don't. Not that it matters much because either way the ripple's on its way, moving out from where it began. The best I can do is make peace with what is. I wish that were as easy to do as it is to say. Sometimes I think the saying should just make the doing automatic without all of the fuss. How have we managed to make consciousness so complicated?

I said, "I love you. I don't want anything between us." So I let down my guard, I took him on, all of him, and he moved on - leaving me standing here with a mixed bag of tricks to wend my way through the rest of my life with. Somedays it's a gift, somedays it's an extra thought, somedays I don't even think about it at all. It is what it is and I can't go back and change the man that I was then - the man who made choices I wouldn't make today. So much has changed, this is better. But I can't go back and unchoose.

So I've made my peace. And the ocean, she helps me keep it safe. I was born at the edge of her northern waters in Alaska a long time ago. Seems like yesterday for all I can remember of the moment. Today I'm further south where the waters are warmer and palm trees bend against the gulfstream winds. But this is still my ocean, the one who stood there waiting for me at my birth. She doesn't give me anything I might later regret, she doesn't ask me why, she doesn't leave. She was there when I got started and she'll be there when I go - faithful, unconcerned with my choices, always a little bit different today than yesterday, but there.

It's me the unsteady lover - always wondering whether it's time to hold on or let go. Sometimes I change so quickly I don't know who I am. I struggle to keep up but I don't know who it is I'm keeping up with. Some rely on faith in things unseen to get them through - I tried to hold on there but the blood on my hands made it easy to let go and walk away. I'll take the here and now; that which I can touch, that which does no harm.

So yes, I've walked away and been walked away from too. Not sure that there's a whole lot of difference between the two. Either way it's hard to change, to have to create yet again another new me who can make it easier for them to be with me. Sometimes I wish they could just be OK with things the way they are instead of wishing me into somebody else. Why does one pray for that which is contrary to the desires of my heart? Did anyone think to ask me what it is I want before asking god to give me what they think I should have?

Oh well, I don't think god's listening anyway. And even if he were, I don't think he'd want me to have anything other than what my heart longs for; my history with him notwithstanding. If I'm ever to have another god it will be a woman because I think women are, all things considered, better listeners.

If you read between the lines, or not, you'll find that I take solace in that which changes, but never ever goes away. Take another pound of flesh if you must, but please, leave something at the door on your way out. Better yet, stick around awhile and watch me turn your grey skies blue. I can you know. Me and the ocean, we have this thing - in exchange for my undying praises of her, she lets me wave my hand and part the clouds like I did this morning. Yep, that was me. You'd be surprised at what a few kind words will do. Tell someone you love them and the magic is yours, all yours, to do with what you will.

Me, I use Pacifica's magic pallet to paint away the clouds of my confusion and my occasional lonely nights, among other things. And as if that weren't enough, she gives me sand between my toes to take home to remember her by.  I guess you have to know what that feels like to know how wonderful it can be.

Hey, it's my fantasy and these are the colors I choose.

From the water's edge as always...
Tom
Surfer Napping
Laguna Beach, December 2003
Pussy Cap