Master of the Night

Stairs at Escondido

This morning I walked to Playa Econdido, as I do most mornings. But today I hoped to see the turtles hatch and make their way into the sea. I sat on the stairs watching the tide, it was higher than I’d ever seen it. It almost slurped its way into the nests. I thought of the eggs and the tiny creature’s ancient instincts responding to the ocean’s pulse as I waited for the rangers.

When they arrived we made our way to the two nests due to hatch. They dug first with a shovel and then cupped hands, deep into the sand. The ranger pulled out something that looked like leaves.

La  cascara? I asked.

Si, se fue, he replied. They are gone.

I was thrilled to hear this. He thought my excitement odd. I explained that it made me happy they had done it on their own, and that the were probably stronger because they had dug themselves out.

Hatched

Hatched

Para es mas peligrosa, he said, waving to the seagulls.

Si, es verdad, I admitted it was true.

I thought of the duckling I lost to an eagle, I was three meters away when the bird caught my charge in its talons and flew away— the heartbreak and wonder of that moment.

Coincidently, I memorized this poem this week. I dedicate this recitation to the tortugitas, those that swam away…and the ones that flew.

 

 

Far From the White Tablecloth

Video

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My blog buddy Dannie Hill recently published a touching post, Heart Words, about writing that make us feel a real connection between characters, and in turn ourselves. His post made me think about what I admire in writers and what kinds of words are difficult for me to write.

I have a high regard for authoritative writing: Gore Vidal’s unwavering confidence, Camille Pagilla’s erudite swagger, Chris Hedge’s revelatory bravery. But in my own writing I lean toward another of my favorite writers, Joan Didion’s, methods “ it seems…perhaps… I think…” Because, as she quotes Lionel Trilling, I too believe, “Some paradox of our nature leads us, when once we have made our fellow man the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.”

This week’s recitation, Rice, by Mary Oliver is an ideal example of authoritative writing. She affirms my belief that poetry is the most effective arena in which to make our demands on society, and, the best language for effecting change. Hear it here, then walk out into the fields