Last Tuesday (19th) Rick set us up in pairs and asked each pair to write paragraphs of a piece of prose alternately. Alex and I wrote the piece below. I have transcribed it exactly as we wrote it on the night.
For some reason, the tide doesn’t want to be in or out during the middle part of the day. If you want to see ships enter the dock, you will have to catch the high tide, which is only early in the morning or late at night. I have only seen ships twice in my seventeen years in Berkeley.
Sometimes I watch the tides change, unaware that time has passed. The river sucks in water with an invisible straw, and lets it seep back in under the brows of the clouds.
Few creatures visit this place, preferring instead the comfort of the crowds up at the New Grounds. Sometimes I see a curlew; sometimes a sparrowhawk; but the sight of a lapwing, performing the aerial dance of a flock, alone, shows how empty it really is.
I remember once I took someone there. Dared them to share it with me. Ive tried to share it, but we soiled the silence with too many breaths, too many eyes; I was aware of the seconds and the moment seemed staged and finite.
There is nothing here that wants to be found. There is nothing to be shared except what you bring with you. You must bring the sky. You must bring the water. You must bring the emptiness, and the solitude.
I fear the people who bring nothing. I have distanced myself from their emptiness. I tell them to leave me alone by writing these words in the murky mudbanks with my weathered fingers. They get the hint and the fading daylight blends them into the night, whilst I stagger on.
Tomorrow they will be washed away. Tomorrow the river’s soothing touch will smooth away the scars. The healing has begun.