Saturday, August 11, 2012


I no longer feel that identifying this as a 'cancer' blog makes sense. It is, and it isn't, and cancer is so limiting. It's the aftermath that really churns up the good stuff and reveals the treasures long hidden in the silt of day to day life.

As much as I identify with the trees, the ocean has been a good healer for me too. My family took a trip to Rialto Beach. Doesn't look like much on a map, just a stretch of sand bordering the Pacific Ocean (is there any stretch of sand that borders that ocean that isn't much to look at? Come on.)

Having just driven up the coast of California and Oregon via 101 just a few short weeks ago, I saw the incredible sculpting power of the ocean, the endless stretches of beach and walked in talcum-powder fine sand.

When you drive up Mora road, you crest this little hill and the edges of the beach explode in front of you- nothing you ever expected. I felt at home at Rialto. It's raw, wild beach. It is on the edge of crashing ocean that smacks into the giant seastacks blowing plumes of water into the air. The beach changes from rocks that are worn smooth like river rock from the force of sand and water, and turning into a gritty sand at the edges of the water.

The trees. I don't know how to describe the wall of dead, driftwood trees- from tippy top to roots, that line the beach. It's a jagged wall that frames the beach from the forest. It's death and life - these trees, when forced up on the beach by the ocean, can kill you.

Sea lions come here to give birth. It is a wild place. It is on the harsh edges between worlds.

It felt like home, because I am the harsh edges between worlds right now. My tongue is sharp and quick, my words are direct and sometimes pointed. I don't mean for them to be, I don't know another way to be right now. I close my eyes and I see the roots of the trees, bleached white with rocks shoved into their woody flesh, and I see myself.

The long stretch of beach has black sand that looks almost oily when wet by the waves that like to surprise you. The dead trees seem to go on forever. The people walking on the beach aren't dipping their toes in the water or flying kites, they are chilly and quiet and keep to themselves.

I feel Coyote here, on the edges between the forest and plain, hiding in the twilight shadows (Twilight, hah!) - this beach is the essence of 'on the edge' because it is on so many edges, in so many ways. It was like physically being in a place that showed how I feel inside.

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