Essay

Reading Juan Ramon Jimenez by the Sea [Flash Fiction]

I love being at the ocean. I love watching the ocean seawater waves coming to shore one after another and another with nothing petty about their movement, their rising, swelling, turning, curling falling all of a sudden in a thunderous crash, and all over again and again, the silver sinuosity of the eavelet caps out past where the waves first begin to swell toward the shore . . . I am carrying a copy of Jimenez’s The Poet and the Sea in a library string-bag I took with me here to Land’s End, from Brooklyn; and now along with my journal and pens as I walk the shore from Hither Hills to Ditch Plains.

The beauty of a wave-worn stone in my hand lifted from the surf. I have collected stones from the surf before, walking as I do along the edge of the sea, ocean waters in waves, swelling, curling, falling. No stone like this stone now in my hands, the word stone is not the stone in itself, I think to myself. I imagine the beauty of her lips, not stone, worn in sorrow–or, so I think I should say.

How are words different from notes? I ask.

I pause.

I ask how language is closer to things than music. This has not been explained. I say.

I wait for an answer–no, a reply.

It is not, she said.

I say nothing.

She turns to look at the sea.

I almost cannot wait to return to our room to write.

 

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