this is a summary of the morning of April 5

After two rains this week, the sand at Ocean Beach is damp and compressed, which makes for a more pleasant and clean walking experience. A man holding a surfboard stands on a bluff, his neoprene skin stretched taut across his legs and back. He is motionless, erect like a statue, surveying the ocean, which is constantly moving. Once you get too close to the water, you can only see what's in front of you, and it swallows you up, if you do not know the pattern of the swells for the day.

Roxi finds two pieces of driftwood and a smooth sand dollar, which she cups in her hand. She squeals, as if she has never seen anything like these before. "I bring these home and put them in my front yard," she whispers to me, as if she were eloping with a little piece of the ocean.

People are walking up and down the frayed edges of the shore where the flat rug of ocean moves in and out again, the primordial comings and goings that are not subject to human will, a will that seems more peculiar and less mighty in this context. I watch the surfers striding into the waves, like lone soldiers stalking into an unknown territory that will always be unknown in some way, no matter the depth of the reconnaissance, no matter how many times he enters the field. The white foam crashes into bodies and washes up against ribs and bellies, the bodies stay upright, the soldiers continue to move forward. But they do not fight the water either, they must not be swept away, but they cannot resist the movements that are the waves themselves. They have chosen to be subjects of the ocean today.

The ocean noise vibrates in my coffee cup. I can feel in my hands the sound that migrates from the water into the air and into my mouth. The vibrations comb through me easily, it is difficult to talk over the sound of the waves but for once loudness does not make me cringe, the sound is greater than me, it is a womb not a crushing fist.

A dog trots obediently clutching an orange frisbee in its maws. Dogs look relieved here on the ocean shore, like regulars at the bar after a long day of work. On the sidewalk, dogs are okay, I like dogs more at the beach though, in the open space, in the salty-clean air, at the edge of eternity.


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