Dusk ... my spiritual renewal.
I type my final piece, fingers methodically obeying rational impulses.
There is an urgency to this impending sense
of closure, heightening my anticipation as Helios' chariot gallops
across the sky. I wait for the sign, that particular slant of
light that heralds the approach of dusk. However, he seems to
deliberately thwart my longing, inching incrementally, until I imagine
a retrograde motion.
by the fluroescent light and syncopated flicker of the monitor, I
disable all artificial sources of illumination. The curtains
drawn. From the corner of my eye I sense movement.
magpie, smugly displays his catch of the day - a caterpillar long since
reconciled to his fate, weary as the white flag of surrender.
Upon receiving my due acknowledgement, he hops home to the
sanctuary of a cherry hibiscus.
I awaken to a tactile reality
and overpowering desire to escape the confines of a dwelling that
threatens to suffocate. I must breathe! Dusk approaches and I
stretch in feline anticipation of my daily renewal. I can
stare, think, analyse no longer. Shifting my awareness to an
window, I hear the call of the Sirens as a child hears the sea in a
conch. This is my favourite time of day. This is my communion.
the oppressive four walls to the four elements. I am the
elements: fire and earth, water and air. Soon Luna will rise
the ocean ... I hasten to my sandy retreat. The saline breeze
catches my throat, tickles my lungs, expands every orifice in silent
meditation. Solar consolation rays, rolling westward, gently
my back as I approach the foamy periphery. The current obeys
cadence call, breathing in and out over feet naked with expectation.
The icy recognition thrills me into stillness. I
inhale but am momentarily denied as the life is sucked out of me.
The tide ebbs and I gasp with the breath of a newborn.
Chastened, my submission is total - I am the elements.
the moon will reach its aphelion. I await their silent
in languid faith. The coalescence of sand and see work their
magic as the sun turns a violent shade. I struggle to
nature's hues from my human palette. Colours that hurt,
and vying for supremacy. One can barely stand to allow this
preternatural fusion of burnt orange, iridescent crimson and magenta to
sear the retina. But I cannot turn away. I am Lot's
immersed in salt - its power burnt on my brain, on my soul.
is my time - my ocean pilgrimage. The growing expanse makes
aware of the limitations of human faculties. One's eyes are
inadequate to the task of recording the moonlit spectacle. I
cannot cope with the panoramic vista unfolding. She rises:
defiant, blazing as her brother sinks on the occidental horizon.
Bue he does not 'go gently into that good night'¹.
burst of flame, a streak of pure energy as the horizon burns, his rays
reflected in the blood red moon. My head cannot pivot quickly
enough to record this dance of rapid simultaneous descent and ascent.
Now the moon is in the ascendancy. The sun sinks in
exultation, his majesty reflected in the growing magenta dome.
rays dim, imperceptibly replaced by fairy lights that dot the coast in
growing reverie and homage. Sadly, the moon's sway upon us is
as that of old. Seagulls move crab-like upon my approach; an
eagle eyes me suspiciously; and I muse, pondering Eleusinian mysteries.
I reflect upon fruitful attempts to synchronise my cycle with
moon. In times past, the Full Moon, pregnant at the zenith of
power and light, heralded ovulation. The Dark Moon newly
the sun generated menstruation. I'm reminded of Annie
observation: 'After thousands of years we're still strangers to
darkness, fearful aliens in an enemy camp with our arms crossed over
I cannot silence the feeling that we've lost this
cyclic connection that I see, hear, feel - screaming at me as the soft
sand squeezes through salty crevices between my toes. There
dichotomy, divergence, alienation. I see nature from my
but am numb to her pulsation. I must venture beyond my stone
periphery to encouter that tactile sensory experience, one that
embraces, affirms and lovingly binds. I must commune with the
Source in an awakening, a regenerative dance of palpable power at the
liminal crossroads of day and night. This is what I
home. A stillness; a perfect peace. I replenish my
fresh sea water. The foam retreats revealing Aphrodite's
ebony stone,smoothed by incessant tides, winks at me in the twilight.
I touch it as I type - my sensory familiar - a connection to the sea
that surges behind me.
This is my renewal, my baptism.
Thomas, 'Do not go gentle into that good night', Seven Centuries of Poetry in
English, John Leonard (ed.), 4th edn, Oxford University
Press, 1998, p. 91.
Annie Dillard, 'Seeing', The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, York,
1998, p. 22.
© 2004 Dianne Monnier. All