When walking on the beach, I tend to fill my pockets with stones and shells and other things. Unlike Virginia Woolf, however, I do not then walk into the water. On my last trip to Nantucket, I found this fine rock. Smoothed by the rolling sea, the tumble of millennia, bisected by a seam of – what, quartz? – it seemed perfect. Trouble was, it was too big for my pockets, and rather heavy.
So I laid it out on this fine ensemble of wood, probably a bulkhead, although it looks vaguely ship-like, and left it there. Sculpture. Homage. Sacrifice. But I regretted this abandonment soon enough. The next day, I returned, wondering if it would still be there. There was a set of footprints: someone had walked off the wood, but they had not taken the rock. I did, carrying it a la Obelix. It’s now in the Back 40, after a very rough sea crossing (I got sea-sick for the first time ever; so much for its properties as ballast).
Like all beach rocks, it looks better wet. Here it reposes in the snow of New Year's Eve. It whets the appetite of the ineffable.