"In the language of the craft, we’re missing the story." -Walter Harrington in his book Intimate Journalism.
The other day, a worn piece of paper appeared on the rug of my room. It was tattered at the edges and bore my stringy handwriting (the kind where the letters sway in tides onto each other). To my total shock, the paper was dated four years earlier to the day that I held it in my hands. It was a letter turned scrap paper addressed to one of my dearest friends. I had to record it here, not only because of the grand temporal coincidence, but because I was searching for something unknown at the time and I find myself, four years later, on the opposite coast harboring the same feelings–the same longing to write something meaningful, when all you need is to capture the mundane beauty that is too often ignored in our striving for something more.
I am back on the Island from the other Island (disguised as a city) but it is the sanctuary that comes from every mainland that every island possesses. I have become fluent here–in a language that I learned quite young, that has been revived through the ocean. Take a boat to me. I will pick you up from the hill and walk you to my three apple trees and lead you up the steps of a reaching porch, hugging the whole house, holding it towards the sun. I'll lead you inside for seaside bruschetta. Crunch. Crunch. Rocks underneath your hardened soles. Dry skin is no concern here. We will quench you with lobster soaked beer labels. Bottles holding your afternoon steady, slow. I have a whale on my neck. The largest of creatures to traverse the WORLD. It stretches against my jaw-bursting, spraying water into my mandible. I put a paperclip through my left earlobe to carry my house key today. A lady making my 'Italian' sandwich (ham, cheese, pickle, onion, tomato, pepper, salt, on a white roll) laughed at my utility and innovation. I see her drink at the American Legion with her dog. I am going there to watch the Celtics game, green hoodie and all. It was my older brother's friend Patrick's birthday. He had a tumor removed from his spinal chord. His scar is larger than my whale tattoo. He brought his dog Frankie, who never sits, likes ounces of beer in his food, and bares his incisors prominently when you make a claw with your hand.
[scribbled in a different colored pen is a note on the left side of the paper:]
A moth the size of a bat
is fluttering against
[scribbled in the same pen on the right side of the paper in inked bullet points:]
-salt + pepper
Photo by Joshua Loring: http://joshualoring.com/home.html