Wednesday, February 27, 2013


It's true that everything is basically made of rocks, but it's also true that I keep going places made from the unfriendliest of rocks, the kind that will cut you for looking at them. And so I think about all of the things that are thrown against them, the shipwrecks and the fish and the tiny snails. The water surely wears them away, but not softly. All of these rocks are constant tiny storms.

The rocks in Hawaii were covered in tiny white snails snuggled into all of the crevices. They seemed unconcerned by the waves, although they must have been brought there by them at some point. I don't know if the waves ever let up enough for the snails to move around and have little snail parties, but they seemed perfectly content just where they were.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Essentially, the history of navigational instruments seems to be figuring out the best way to get home, rather than finding a way anywhere else. It's hard to fix a spot on the horizon with a spot in the sky solidly in place on a moving boat, so we had to get more sophisticated. Our arms gave way to ropes with knots and eventually to complicated machinery, because otherwise there's too much world to be sure of much at all. It's hard to keep a fixed location on a planet that keeps on spinning.

I suppose there is something to be said for making sure we know where we've been when we don't know where we're going, but sometimes I think of those early days of exploration and how it would be almost impossible to get home if you lost your arm. Perhaps this is why we outsourced our navigation to technology--if you weren't going to come home whole at least you stood a better chance of coming home at all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Swimming hole

I started a new job for the first time in eight years after we got home from vacation, and it takes up all the brains I have. It's a nice change from what was going on before, but I am unaccustomed to being this kind of tired. My recreational research is a secret until after tomorrow, but I have been going down some soft green rabbit holes.

They say that taking rocks from Hawaii is bad luck, that Pele sees them as her children and gets angry when they're removed. Tourists send rocks back all the time in order to end a streak of bad luck. There's no similar good luck curse that I can find, but we must have brought something nice back in the backs of our eyes and the soles of our feet because things have been looking mighty bright lately. I don't know if we get the February we deserve, but I plan to keep the one I have.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Dragon's Teeth

It's funny how I think so often about what it sounds like when a city is flooded and left under the water but I don't think much about what under the water sounds like normally. So it was with quite a bit of surprise that I put my head in the water in Hawaii the first time and hear a landscape crackling almost like fireworks from fish eating rocks. Like no sound I had ever heard.

Only a little bit further under the water were the whales, chattering and singing, making cities of their own. Maybe Atlantis was never lost, just handed over to the whales, flinging their songs through miles.