On Tides


For two days the ocean has been calm. It is more of a cove here, a little inlet of ocean. And on days like this, I take to calling it a lagoon. I am not sure yet if this is true, but if the moon can affect the tide then can the tide affect my mood? If the sea is calm then so am I.

In the mornings she is a steely grey-blue, sometimes too bright to look at like glitter is mixed in along the surface. It leaves you blind in spots for moments afterward. And still, I look. But this morning there are clouds and the water is still and looks like she’s keeping secrets. I can see all the way to the horizon from here.

I had a teacher once who told me to never talk about my work, never tell anyone what your story is about. But early in the morning I was having dreams that I had new ideas for stories and now I cannot remember what they were, and that has only happened once before. Do you remember, in that basement in New York, how it was on the tip of mind?

When a story idea escapes you and goes on to find someone else, it leaves only its feeling, it’s mood & the way it would have felt to write it. A mood you now cannot access no matter how hard you try, the impression is there but the details are gone and as any good reader knows it’s all in the details. I can tell you it has something to do with a younger older woman living in a facility for older people. But that isn’t it at all, that is from a movie I watched three days ago.

The point is unless we sit down and invite it in, there are never going to be any more good ideas. So I sit here and sometimes a sailboat goes by and the other day a dead harbor seal floated by and sometimes there are divers in the cove. At high tide, you cannot see any rocks and at low tide, there are two clusters that come peeking out.

I think every day I should get myself some binoculars and learn the names of the birds. But, again I am missing the point. Someone told me recently that being a writer sounded romantic in that lonely sort of way, cups of coffee and staring off into the distance.

When the sky changes, so does the color of the water.

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