Flux

I never wanted famous, though it was proffered
more than once; did not want to grow up
in public, recorded on the cortices of admirers,
on film or stage, no; talent may, through its
own merits, ease its way into hearts to pause
or to remain;

In the shadows or in the streaming blue daylight
I have roamed, senses piqued, attentive, bright-
eyed bird or a conger eel poking tentatively
in and out of its rocky burrow, seeking connection,
but then again wanting nothing so much
as to be left solitary, only the rushing sound
of waves overlapping, shards of sunlight slicing
through the columnar clusters of its coral cave;

In the balance it was nature that saved me,
shaking me down, down, until, touching bottom,
I was free to surface or submerge at will, no fear
of falling nor of what lay in the abyss,
no admonitions from trees or stars; skies did
not loom nor threaten, only sheltered, protected
whether blue or grey; in shrill winds or basking
crystalline stillness it was the same endless
continuum of something grace granted to explore,
within or without that strange flux, perpetual
motion drawing me into its rocking loose embrace,
lulling me, as if for the first time,
into contentedness in or out of the depths.

Puget Sound ferry
Mauna Loa pu’u
Kohala taro patch stream
Mauna Kea
Koa forest, Kohala

All photos©Bela Johnson

9 thoughts on “Flux

  1. What a poetic story of contentedness…beautifully penned! We all “seek connection”, worldly relationships consume us like termites but eventually we realise that no connections complete us except our own self. The moment this awakening hits, solitude becomes our best pal. It is only when we embrace him that we discover our real self.
    Thank you Bela for sharing this excellent piece.

    1. My thanks, Balroop, for your kind words.

      I love your termite metaphor 😉 – especially apropos to where we live where the little buggers take down whole houses eventually! Where we are from in Maine, there were no termites at all, so it’s always amazing to observe Mother Nature taking back the materials humans have borrowed from her in such an efficient fashion 😉

      And you are so right, no connections Can complete us until we acknowledge that completeness within. At least that’s what I have found. And yes, solitude then becomes one’s friend, no longer requiring others to, as Jerry Maguire famously quipped, “complete me” (us). Yikes. That’s quite a load of baggage for one to carry about their person! I remember a man once told me, “I wish you would need me.” I simply and guilelessly responded immediately, “No, you don’t. That would put a burden on us both. Much better to Want you in my life, no?”

      Aloha, Balroop, and again, my thanks for always offering your well considered thoughts on what I have written. ❤

  2. Great stuff 🙂

    As a younger man I worked on towboats as a deckhand for a couple of years. I spent a lot of time enjoying the view from the head of the tow, as well as the stern of the boat. You can literally get lost in the wheelwash. It is much like looking into the fire, soothing and enjoyable at the same time.

    Your stern shot from the ferry brought back a fine memory, thank you for that 🙂

    1. Mahalo, Shell! Cool that you worked on a boat! I loved/love being on the ocean; nothing like it. Our family had an oceangoing vessel when I was growing up, as well as driving it to the occasional lake for water skiing. I couldn’t wait to crawl up onto the prow where I would sit, feeling the thump of the waves and the spray on my face. Oh! One of my best memories, for sure.

      Funny you mention the wheelwash being like looking into fire, a comparison that seems incongruous but also completely apropos. I love that hypnotic feeling, however it comes, just mesmerizing.

      Glad you enjoyed the shot! It’s hard to get out in this dangerous Alenuihaha Channel, so I always look forward to jumping on a whale watch boat and letting someone else handle the ocean’s vicissitudes. Or cruising Puget Sound when I visit friends. Aloha, and be well. Happy New Year!

  3. Bela, I love this piece, the rhythm and the wisdom of it. And of course the beautiful photos. The one looking off the back of the ferry especially, since I’ve been mesmerized by that wake so often through my life. (Must have ridden various ferries on Puget Sound a hundred times. 😊) Thanks for that memory, and the beauty of your words. You walk the walk, philosophically, with grace. ❤️

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