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Archive for October, 2008

“I found my first purple,” he said, “I never found purple.”

 

He, C, is four and my neighbor’s grandson. I see him a lot in the summer, enough to keep my daughter’s battery operated cars Thomas train tracks available for his visits. He loves to sea glass hunt and tires of it far less quickly than his cousin and sister so it was great to have time for a longer hunt.

 

“I only found two before and now I’m lucky,” he said, holding up his bag of mostly green pieces.

 

“You get better at spotting the pieces with practice,” I said.

 

He was willing to throw the sharp pieces away; showing me each find to make sure it passed the “not too sharp” for his Nana test. He walked, with his small shoulders to the edge of the water whenever a piece needed to be tossed.

 

One time he said, “What if I leave this piece here?” he said, “Maybe you can come back later and find it?” He was imagining that one tide could transform broken glass into sea glass.

 

Don’t we hope for miracle speed when our own brokenness sticks out of the stand sharp and dangerous and able to cut bare feet? Don’t we want to be smoothed over and bathed, transfigured into something precious and worth discovering rather than something relegated to more spin cycles? Who doesn’t want to be worn and glistening on the sand, a gem to be fought over and prized? We all say, “It’s about the journey not the destination,” but I’m not so sure who really means it.

 

I didn’t tell C how long it takes for broken bottles to become sea glass. He’s young and will learn on his own.

 

We walked further, in an hour, than I have ever walked alone even braving the slick rocks under a large metal dock before turning back.

 

“You can find new pieces on the walk back you missed on the way here,” I said. Almost immediately, as if to prove the point I spotted a dark green marble near his feet with white lines so dark they were almost gray. “I found a marble,” I said.

 

“Can I have it?” he said.

 

“I need to think about it,” I said.

 

“It’s so fun when you find one yourself,” I said, “Like your purple.”

 

I was really thinking I’ve only ever found two marbles on this beach and one I gave away to my daughter. I was thinking, “I want it.’

 

“I haven’t found a marble,” he said more than once on the trip back. His bag, fuller than it had ever been, was missing my marble.

 

“Listen to that, the waves through the rocks. It sounds like a rain stick,” I said, half because it was true and half to change the subject.

 

“Do you want to stop and listen to the waves?”

 

In my heart, I gave him the marble then. He had offered me, at four, a moment of stillness to stop and share the sound of water hitting pebbles. He would abandon his search for the joy of listening to the ocean.

 

He noticed how the sea gulls floated on the water; how the waves made them rise up and down but how they didn’t go under.  

 

“Look,” I said, “How about we trade one piece from each other’s bag back on the porch? “

 

“You can have any of my whites,” he said.

”A fair trade means I can pick any of yours and you can pick any of mine. We put them out and choose one. Do you want to do that?”

 

Maybe he’d say no after all to protect that purple piece I thought.

 

“O.k.,” he said.

We didn’t need to chat or fill air. We didn’t speak too much. He showed me his path around the marshy section of grass, said the huge waves could come up so fast he didn’t stay too close to the shore. He told me he hadn’t fished that year. I didn’t tell him as a vegetarian I don’t fish at all. He was a comrade in hunting, a companion on the twisty rocks who enjoyed looking down low and showing me crab shells, and lobster parts but we left them on the sand. “Those smell at home” he said. “Yes,” I said, grabbing only one large white oyster shell, open mouthed but attached.

 

“You might want to leave that,” he said.

”I like it,” I said, stuffing it into my back.

 

We ate orange popsicles and laid out our treasures.

 

“Do you want to count them?” he asked.

”Sure,” I said.

He counted up to twenty and said, “I can’t count higher than that,” and so I finished for him.  He had gathered about thirty pieces. And, with little hesitation he took my marble leaving me with about fifty pieces.

 

I eyed his purple, even lifting it up to the sky but ended by grabbing a solid and thick white piece. I couldn’t bear to take his first purple. He was full, not of popsicles, but of the quiet searching and gathering.

 

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Poetry feeds my spirit. I turn to it the way some turn to psalms or meditation or motivational speakers. Poetry is cooked from scratch feelings and thoughts served into the air and always fresh. I devour it on days when I worry if I’m too serious, introspective or too anything. Poets use the world, internal and external, as a trampoline and fire up original acrobatic moves and make new shapes of ordinary world worries. They are flying high without a net, marking streets in unnamed places.

I can read, and re-read poetry books from ten years back. I fold and sticky different pages now but the words warm and bake and soothe. They are not always easy but they comfort, inform, challenge and disarm. I could post this next post once a month and it would be fresh and worthy of reading each time.

A favorite:

Swimming, One Day in August, by Mary Oliver (from Red Bird)

Catch of the Day: Stillness and this link to many stunning poems.

http://www.bemindful.org/poemsb.htm#Anchor-49575

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This is a poem a reader of this blog sent along in the comments section of the “About Me” page. She has agreed to let me share it on the blog with other sea glass lovers.

Sea Glass Blue

Helen Mary
Seeks the blue
Sea worn glass
Beside the pool
Where the tide lays
On the shore
By rocks
Small stones
Sea fairies store
Though green glass glistens
On white sand
By oceans sent
To touch her hand
Helen Mary
Faithful
True
Seeks only
Ever
Sea glass blue

Egal Bohen

 Thank You Egal for sharing your poem and your passion with other sea glass lovers and for letting me post your piece here.

I also posted some pictures of my recent bookmarks made with cornflower blue and cobalt blue. Many of my blues are are borderline sea glass/beach glass being rough edged and not particularly weathered but strong, solid and striking in color.

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Yesterday, and into the late afternoon and early evening, I had the chance to set up shop at the HULL Farmer’s Market. It was the last one of their new season. Here are some photos taken by a friend who is an incredible photographer. His name is Rob MacDonald. Look at this shot of the amazing sunset first and then ones from earlier in the day of my booth. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my dear friend Kathy visiting my table while I’m working the market in Hull.

Kathy is also a sea glass artist. Her work is incredible and will be for sale a week from today at the So Shore Vocational School craft fair. Her blog is www.seaglasscatch.wordpress.com and it also details where you can buy her elegant and intricate wire work.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be back at the Hingham Farmer’s next week with all this work (less a few pieces that sold) as well as some new pieces. It was warm enough not to wear a sweater or scarf when I arrived at 1pm. By the end of the event, it was so dark I couldn’t see and my friends were helping watch my daughter, pack tables and chairs and jewelry and I was SO GRATEFUL.

That yellow orb in the sky comes up every day and goes down every night but I had not been paying attention to when. As a new guest at the Hull market I was “green” and didn’t realize a fast pack-up was needed.

Here are some photos I took of my work. They are stiill not all as clear as I would like but it does give an idea of my work.

Catch of the Day: Gratitude for surprise visitors and wonderful friends!

 

 

And the final photo was either shot by Rob MacDonald or my daughter who took some photos on our camera. It’s the right photo for closing the post.

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Tomorrow, I have the fun of being at Hull’s Market from 2:30 to 6:30pm. It is the close of their season and I can’t wait to see what it is like and what other food vendors and artisans will be there. If you are local and want to check it out, here are the details.

http://www.town.hull.ma.us/Public_Documents/HullMA_Community/S01432C64-01432C69?formid=161&repType=Friday,-October-3-at-2:30-PM

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There were over twenty vendors at the market today in Hingham. I’ve added just a few more photos.

It was glorious weather and there was coffee and sunshine and friends and families and regular and first time shoppers. If the weather stays as nice as it was today (or just not too cold or rainy), it could be fantastic right through November. http://hinghamfarmersmarket.org/

We’ve made new friends, had wonderful family time loved sharing the market with others. My aunt and cousin traveled way down east from from the other side of the Braintree split where sea glass is not so plentiful. They went home with bread and jam and salsa and herbs. My daughter bought potatoes and I got some fresh lavender. My husband got his hot salsa and of course we got our GRANOLA which we had been missing out on because the vendors, now buddies we look forward to seeing, had been at other locations. Maybe the most fun of all was seeing friends and family in the “constructed square” of vendors, running back and forth and shopping and smiling and hugging and laughing. It was a full October day.

My husband, who helps out so much despite working SO HARD at his own consuming job, times the kids who race, and helps me set up shop and today even took pictures with our cousin to show the sea glass in shimmering light. I’m a writer filled with cliches about perfect, nice and wonderful the day was. My heart is full. I am grateful. It is not always so.    

Sometimes I drag myself out of bed and the wind threatens to knock everything over and sales are slow and people are hurried and determined and not interested. I’ve been learning about life, I can never know what a day will hold personally or professionally before it unfolds. The ingredients that make it rich or challenging are poured by many. Sometimes that new rosemary corn bread is the best I’ve ever tasted while my husband wants to go back to old faithful, his tomato mozzarella. Sometimes life is sweet salsa with pineapple and other times it has heat and zing. There are jams made to satiate and work with peanut butter and others so delectable they can be devoured as a stand alone dessert. From a distance, the jars look the same.

Who arrives as new friend or is absent again is nothing I can anticipate. The hands of my cousin, helping fill gift bags, handle cash or checks as she talks up my work is a gift she gave me, a way she spent part of her Sat. My aunt pours over each piece and at home, goes through my bowls as though we are opening up treasure boxes. She takes pictures of the morning glories and cosmos and shows me pictures on her digital camera of her away trip last weekend. Slow and calm and easy. Life can be chaos and craziness and crisis and grief. Life can take a display arranged carefully and upturn it with one strong wind. This makes me less and less afraid and instead grateful for the days, hours, moments, weeks when life is still and the sun the perfect temperature. My daughter, easy and comfortable on our beach blanket on the sand with friends we’ve met fairly recently. Later, with her arms loaded up from shopping and walking and then tired from running with friends.

Full and happy tired is how I came home today. It’s wonderful to feel connected to a community and to watch the circle widen, contracting and expanding in unpredictable ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catch of the Day: The Day!

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This is a prose poem I’m working on.

I Asked the Ocean, draft

Where’s my peace?

Sea weed in my hair,

sharp muscle shells cutting soles,

dead jelly fish on graveled sand and a bloated rat, face up,

swelling the shore line.

You call this sanctuary?

For Christ sakes, you’re a mess,

plastic bottles and metal cans,

broken boat lights and bacteria –

polluted.

 

“Sit,” she said. “Sit.”

She wanted me to close my eyes and listen,

her water song, ancient and rhythmic,

a rain stick through rocks and pebbles.

 

“I can’t hear it,” I said.

She wanted me to feel the moist air,

breathe her ionizing power into my lungs.

“You’re a filthy mess,” I said, “Who are you to give advice?”

 

The past is not a light house

yet I have looked at it this way too long.

I’ve made it a marker I circle around

in all situations

to ground 

ambivalent and difficult feelings.

I tether to a docked boat and wonder why

I am not sea worthy,

able to seek new shores.

 

She wants me to anchor elsewhere

and only occasionally.

“But who and what will be left in my wake?”

 

Silence meets me this time,

my heart swallows my brain.

Trust and openness?

I’m not sure I’m up for this.

 

“You will learn,

at last, to float,

without life jackets,

oars and a row boat.”

 

“Are you sure?” I ask.

And I sit

because,

I confess,

I am willing

only

to consider

new possibilities

and ways of being.

 

Sitting at least,

I pray I can absorb

her wisdom.

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