Issue Three: Summer 2018

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VICTOR SIERRA

A WALK ON THE BEACH

At the edge of the World the choice of direction is limited to either sand or water. The sea is too cold and so I walk further.

Cold turquoise waves form and overpower. A relentlessly advancing army that multiplies from behind on a never ending yet futile mission culminating in white foam. It dissipates and dies like a flag of surrender, meeting its match in the gradient of the land. Does it never learn?

Footprints are transient, the sand another type of water. The clouds are aloof, they don’t participate. Instead they look down on the pale dunes and marram grass, alive and engaged in intense conversation between the salty breeze and the sound of screeching gulls.

Their conversation is secret, yet you may be invited if you’re made from fragments of shells or pebbles.

A conspiracy to beguile is in play. There is no escape, and soon the desire to sleep is too strong to resist, it is a call from Earth to join her and be as one, as things should be. I choose a spot amongst the dunes.

Laying on the sand, warmed by the sun, my body is welcomed by millions of grains of sand that busily relocate, my comfort their priority. Gravity becomes a new friend.

I stare openly. There is nothing to see but blue sky and white clouds, moving and changing, their message unclear. Frustrated I turn on my side and I hear the gulls mocking. Can the sun see my secrets?

I forget my solitude and let my head rest on the sand which moulds around my face like a lover’s hand. A strange intimacy is created but my field of vision, a portal to the ‘here and now’ keeps me safe.

As if I have been shrunk in size, the landscape becomes gigantic and I feel like an ant wondering alone in a vast empty valley.

Huge translucent boulders of amber, pink, white and grey bounce around chaotically, as if weightless, in front of my cave of being. An energetic dance without purpose, slaves to the constant whisper of the sea.

I blink and the sunlight catches my lashes, creating glowing blobs of liquid fire. These are gifts that will soon leave when I pass to the open arms awaiting below.

I surrender to sleepiness and nature covers me with its invisible quilt, the chatter of the sea retreating as I pass from one world to the other.

In the world of dreams my soul is carried, as if reclining on a flying carpet. Regrets, hopes, fears, wishes, people and places are alive but have a different meaning. They are not as they seem.

There are no answers, only emotions, and they flow, sometimes in deep still water, or other times in shallow fast flowing streams that create channels, like the patterns of my brain. They flow towards our destiny, the sea.

Dreams are the language of truth, but we choose not to listen.

My sleep has revived me, and so I begin the return journey. I wake up alone and cold.

I am greeted by lilac, blue and purple who introduce themselves and tell me that many hours have passed unnoticed.

In the twilight the marram grass standing steadfast, watching over me, still bends in the wind, the private conversation ongoing to which the moon has since joined. But I am not invited.

I arise from my impromptu bed and feel like an alien in a strange land. The sea is dark now but still engrossed in its endless battle. I must head home to my own world.

As I walk away from the beach, towards the lights of the town, I say ‘good bye’ in my mind, grateful to my host who took care of me but doesn’t hear me.

My bed returns to its previous form and to the beach I am now a memory, and perhaps a topic of conversation.


About the Author

Born in County Durham, England, and now a denizen of the North East coast, hungry sea gulls are regular visitors to the balcony of Victor Sierra, who is often seen lost in a book or a thought. Sometimes a biscuit goes their way.

Next in Issue Three: Summer 2018