The sky was a stretch of black ink as the plane lunged forward into her descent. He placed his small hand over the curved airplane window and pushed his face to the towering edge of sea and morning to be stones. He breathed a heavy sigh and spun circles into the steamed canvas.
And there was the quiet space right before the plane touched its toe onto wet ground, like blank pages slightly torn from the spiral, the deep breath before anticipation's open gift.
He had a business meeting on Monday.
And four open book days to explore Seattle, the last cliff jump, hands over head into inspiration's deep hidden seas.
And inspiration, she feels like a first kiss, full of anticipation and heart wing flutters. She opens her hands and pulls you over the fallen tree path.
He said maybe this is what it feels like to live inside one of those electric train sets. The mossy floors beneath our feet and towering trees dangling over brick tunnels pulling us into its thick curiosity.
And it felt like a moving car, held by a child's hand, driving over the pages of someone else’s photo album, the memories laminated under dusty plastic jackets. A place in my heart that felt lived with out me there, the secret someone forgot to share.
There are places that feel like you have travelled somewhere midsentence, where the words have yet to catch up with the color, the smell , the ladders reaching into white planked clouds.
Where the last spoken word has already been said, where description is muted by pink streaked witness. And to sit there is to hear the words spoken from the mouth of beauty. Words spoken back to you in languages unwritten, spoken only in the gray mist hum and the desperate mountain hold, in beauty's soft foam kisses.
It is the book savored before the end, so each word gets spread out over the tongue, staying there like a round candy melting, holding on to its sweet taste. Each page lined with mountain valley views, the raw smell of newborn tides, pulled back like a heavy blanket.
The tips of his fingers were numb. But he kept searching, the deep knee bend and curled back collector. He moved each hand over mahogany mussel and the barnacles, falling off like loose teeth, leaving holes for his fingers to mend with eager curiosity.
And there, the homeless shell, the arms of crabs still reaching past the hungry gull’s mouth. The starfish with her small R bend, the crab hidden beneath the curve of the shell, safe in shadow and sand.
And he told me when I cried I made tidepools under my eyes.
The place where all of these moments collect and wait for the waters to pull them back out into the sea.
And maybe the sun could find its reflection there between the brown and green plaid of your iris.
Because I want this to be our home. And the walls will be made of your skin, soft from the rub of beauty against this shore, and your grace, sweet boy, the mortar between mistake and redemption.
I still find this pain in small pockets, buried beneath flattened string and warm pennies. The tears that come with marvel, when the beauty shakes my heart so hard, a memory of her gone, the enormity of this small second with burnt edges, already gone before I can hold it.
And somewhere in those tidepool eyes, there are all of the moments I have forgotten, tied together with the remaining string of daylight, this needle and thread pull of connection, embrace and the loose fingers, the fallen scarf let go.
And the tidepools, her beauty’s city destroyed and built in a day, the impermanent measure of this hold, the permanent measure of renewal.
And for those who have stood here, under beauty's open face, feet sunk and lifted with windowpane outlines. You, who have felt unique for this one moment, made special only by the witness of this beauty, too impossible to scream, held tight for one moment, where lifelines meet warm palms.
And this beauty wants for nothing in return except for the love that radiates from the tidepools in our eyes, in all the places where reflections get caught, the places that hold deep wonder, the underwater life unseen, caught in slow motion stillness, opening and closing the thin anemone feathers of a whispered breath.
The moment's eternal goodbye, the forever patient hello. There will never be another. This mustard outline of the sun, this teardrop shaped cloud holding onto its gray belly.
Each moment a hold of the breath and the inescapable letting go. Another fine wrinkle of skin over bone, the kite’s last dance over blue denim skies.
And sometimes it hurts more than others. This fraility, this fragile make of fingernails and cracked shells and the stern ocean air cracking whips over the sand.
The rock between toe and shoe, the open mouth anemone with her petals new with each morning spring. The observant pine, standing tall, the army of soldiers guarding the entrance to stillness.
They already know. This. This moment. She is precious.
I cannot own her or shape her or stand on her back to see what is in front or behind her. I can only marvel at her eyes, the beauty of this one single breath filled with windswept tears running towards the light.
So I will notice it all and set my heart free to marvel, catch each last breath for just this moment and leave the doors open wide for the deep exhalation.
And when the warm golden light of the tilted moon becomes our last breath, the deep inhalation of our recollections, we will line them up like our treasured collections, placed high on glass shelves, staring out from their shadows, remembering this time set aside.
Find me here.