by the seashore

I found a pile of old and thinning sea shells in a small wooden box in my bedroom when I was throwing away everything I could touch. Their delicate nature, some cracked and ruined lay next to a razor blade, a broken old bracelet, and the single word “and” that I had cut from a book. The collection and the box itself had gone unnoticed and untouched for how long I’m not sure. It just disappeared amongst all my belongings and mementos from around the world. Something about the simplicity and the pain that this box seemed to represent forced me to close it and place it back on the shelf as one of the very few things I would keep. I had never intentionally placed these things together, they had come to this box by chance and stayed for years on end. They had come to be a part of how I feel and what I am sure I would look like could you pull me off the shelf and take the lid off. Sea shells like dreams often crack under the pressure and surprise of life and yet we still hold onto the broken ones right next to the ones that are still beautiful and whole. Sometimes we hold onto them tighter thinking that our sheer will power will somehow press them back together. But I have come to believe that once things are broken there is no coming back from the dead. A razor blade for it’s useful nature and tenacity and yet t reminds me that I have always been the type of person to cause my own problems, inflict my own pain. A broken bracelet for those people we have been because they always still live within us. And a single word, “and” because there is always more to say and more to do and until my dying day I will never be finished. So there I sit on the third shelf next to a photograph of an old friend who passed away over seas…