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An Island

An island.

That's where she lives.

It's a fairly old one.

As old as islands could be.

.

She thinks some islands are just

nascent chunks that

broke free. 

Not exotic locales

waiting and willing

to be discovered,

and eventually,

owned.

.

She doesn't know.

.

She knows

that she lives on an island

that was never

about the water.

.

Strange,

she thinks.

.

Strange,

you think.

.

An island

that isn't about water.

But then,

as she now knows,

islands are more 

about land than

lands.

Lands always yearn

for water.


The island floats

in the middle.

Closer to the end of 

several places at once.

She stands

somewhere in this middle.

Does she stand on water

or land?


She moves often.

The island stays put.

No matter how far she goes,

there aren't any waves.

The water

at the shore

lies as still as her clogged sink.

Bits and pieces

float in both.


Winds come,

as do plungers.

Swirling the water around

for a bit.

The gunk settles out of sight.

Out of one

into the other?


Stars shine over the ocean 

at night.

From her window

shine city lights.

To see the moon,

she must crane her neck.

Bent neck,

and oddly stacked boulders,

both see the moon

almost equally.

One is near water.

One is beside it.


Tomorrow

she's going for a walk.

She's going to find a hole.

Drilled deep.

Something molten lies inside.

The one that fuels

or the one that puts it out?


She will fall into it.

She will come out.

Will she still be on an island?


A human an island

Image Courtesy: Redland Art Gallery: A painting by Sharon Jewell


“The island gets in, the island gets out. Language is the passage that, like water around an island, both connects and isolates a feeling-being from an expression of that feeling.” Sharon - a phenomenal artist to look out for.

If we trace the roots of the word island, it derives life from ieg (island in Old English) + land. This was then modified to island around the 16th century. So essentially, the word literally means 'island land'. Did they need to add land twice to balance out the lack of it, or was it a metaphor for the seclusion that almost doubles down unto itself in an incongruous break? One can only wonder.

If the world were a canvas, an island would be the accidental paint off a painter's brush that lands in the middle of somewhere. Maybe the painter's lazy or just subjected to the very human hindsight bias and believed that this fleck actually complimented the painting. Maybe it is by design, for an island does break the monotony of an otherwise still water-sky landscape. One is free to choose their own philosophical view of the origins of an island.

The prose is less about an island than it appears to be. But then, once you stay on an island for long enough, you realize an island is less about an "island" than it was supposed to be. Supposed is probably the keyword here. For what are we, if not misinformed projectionists? One could easily forget about the distinctiveness of an island. Or one could never cease to marvel at the point of it. What's the point of it, you ask? What could be the point of an island?

I'd say it depends on the metaphor you were going for. And that's what the prose attempts.

Here's to a Sunday of exploring the right object for this metaphor.

Happy Sunday!

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