Grows on Granite for web DSC_9319
Episode 63. The Rock at My Back Is Transparent
"I spend more and more time with you, my dear Diary, and less and less sleeping. They say there'll be plenty of time when we're dead to be sleeping. But it's not like that with me. I don't know if you get to sleep then. I've never seen anything die that doesn't get back to working right off. And even rocks die.
"You don't believe me? Well, I don't know if it's up to me to change your mind. You're just a book, and who knows who will read you? Probably no one. Maybe Delilah. I will leave you to her. But she's not going to change her mind because of something in a book. She's face to face with dead folks almost every day. You work as hard as she does trying to make them look alive again, she'll likely shake her head and close you up again.
"But anyway, I'll tell you what I think. As soon as something's all done being what we think it is, it starts right into being something else. You think a leaf knows rest? No ma'am. It's changing when it hits the ground, and it keeps changing, and soon it's soil and part of growing something else. Busy, busy, busy. You hardly have time even to call it a leaf before it's not one anymore.
"Oh sure, it doesn't mean we can't be sad. That sadness, that's change too. It's got to come. It's part of change and losing what we think we got and getting what we didn't want.
"I'll tell you what, though. You say, what about a rock? Well, I been reading up on it, and talking to my Little Mac, who is a learned man, and here is what I think about a rock.
"Sure it had to start somewhere. Couldn't always be a rock. This granite here along our coast, that even a hurricane can't move, that ships break up against, that seems as solid as a thing could ever be, well, it had to come from somewhere. Had to come together. Had to have been something else. A damned hot soup down underground that cooled and crystallized and got called granite. Bunch of different kinds of crystals. Stuff you shine a light through. Feldspar, mica, quartz and silica. And it falls apart again. We say that takes a long long time but we think dreams do too, and we know dreams last only seconds really.
"So here's the thing. Me and Minnie are out on the sea cliffs. We get tired and we sit down and she sees these little sedums in a crack in the rock. And they're beautiful. Fiery little flowers and little succulent leaves all so shapely and green it would embarrass an emerald. And she starts crying!
"'Look!' she says. 'Look at that. And they're just plants. Not jackhammers. Not TNT. Soft squishy stuff you can crush between your fingers. And they're growing there anyway. Right out of the rock. And there I was, convinced that my life was too hard to keep living. Oh my dear Jesus, Bertie!'
"And so you see, my dear Diary, rocks die too. They do. And then they turn into flowers. It's true. I looked it up. The rocks break down. But they don't rest. They turn right into plant food and right into flowers. Busy, busy, busy.
"So I don't think I'm going to get more sleep by dying. No. Because the rock at my back is transparent. I see through all that crystalized stuff. I won't even be dying, not really. I'll be moving on, that's all. And all my loved ones, they will too. We are not made to stay. And I'm not made to sleep. And I don't want to dream. No, I just want to write in my diary. Because it helps me navigate this heart that keeps on breaking till I don't know where I am."
"Well, it's morning already. So no sleep at all. Not this time. There's the mourning doves. And there's the light. And there's my Little Mac with his eyes blinking open. Let me tell him my name while I can."
14 June 2018
Prospect, Nova Scotia
Keywords:canada, close-up, flowers, granite, growing, lichen, nova, on, prospect, scotia, sedum, succulent