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Engage Me [orlet me be]

I am art. 

I am the ocean. 

I am a poem, a song,a painting, a sculpture, a landscaped back yard, a cornice on a building,a crown moulding, a
mural, a dance, ascene in a play, a feature film, a digitally re-touched photograph, ora four-year-old's painting of

You are the audience. 

How do you know me? 

You can stand in themiddle of the wheat field in the middle of the prairies, thousands of kilometersfrom the
coast.  You canneglect me completely. 

You can stand on themountaintop near sunset facing the brisk breeze, eyes partly shut, glancingshyly at the sea
on the horizon. You see my colour skewed by the low-angled sunlight.  You know I amthere but you cannot see me
move, my whitecapsor tidal shifts.  You cannot taste or smell me or hear my song. You cannot feel the salt of my
touch, or the liquidof my fluidity.  You know of me, but you don't know me.

You can stand on thebeach, barefoot, toes in searing midday sand, facing the waves creepingin and slinking away. 
You can smell me,hear me, and see my true colour with all the life existing in me, but youstill stay too far away. 
You can even see peopleswimming in me, dancing in my tide, charging my withdrawl and retreatingmy advance. 
You see birds, unafraid,resting on me, diving in me, taking off and landing on me, natural, richlyenjoying all I
have for them. You see boats navigating on me and skiers falling in me, afraid to staybelow, eager to get back in
the boat.  Theysay I am too cold.  At least they will touch me.  But you. You are still dis


You can sit in yourbathing suit on the mud of low tide.  You can wait for me to approachyou, force you to know
me.  But whenI hint at your toes you move away, afraid I may shock you with my rumouredchill.


You can sit in yourbathing suit on the mud of low tide.  You can wait for my approach,feel my touch, perhaps I'm
cold, but you getused to me.  My temperature is who I am.  You must submit tome.  I won't change for you.  You
must change from knowingme.  But I retreat.  How do you respond?  I wait and see. Ebb and flow.  Ebb and flow. 
When I return willyou still be there?  You are.  Good.  Thank you.  Withoutyou I'm just the ocean with no
importance beyondjust being what I am.  You felt my first wave and stay for the second. What do you feel?  What
do you smell, canyou feel my salt linger on your toes each time I step back?  My tideis coming in.  You stay where
you are.  Youknow me more, you get used to my chill, you soon forget it completely. You see my seaweed floating
near you.  Youreact, dreading its approach or curious of its slimy touch.  Thankyou for knowing me.

You can return tomorrowat high tide.  You can wade into me up to your knees until you canendure my chill.  It's
not so bad. You close your eyes and slightly lose your balance as my waves nudge youto and fro.  You feel the sand
shift between yourpruning toes.  You smell my salt, my weeds, my oil slick from othersthat have sailed through
me.  But nothingabove your knees knows me.  Try again tomorrow.


You stand at high tidein me, up to your knees.  You walk into deeper me.  You dropto your neck in me.  Exhale or
your lungs will pop. You get used to my chill even faster now.  You are almost immersedin me.  Driftwood slivers
bump your shoulders,tiny pin pricks that evaporate instantly.  My tide pulls your bodythis way and that.  You know
my force.  I'mbigger than you.  The birds know that naturally.  You must learnit.  You swim out deeper where you
can't touch my floor. You know my surface is warmer and easier than further below.  Thesun heats the waves and
whitecaps.  Youstay at the surface because I'm just too cold further down.  Too bad.

weeks go by

You finally trust menow.  I'm no longer annoying as my salt clings to you as you leaveme.  You don't even shower
right away any morebecause the thought of my residue on you does not alter your comfort. My smell does not
repulse you any moreas you hear toddlers complaining of my stink.  You learned to swimin the suburban pools of
your youth, but thoselessons were designed for you to take me on, you and me, together. No lifeguards here to
look to for guidance. Today is the day you dive below, practicing your breath retention so youcan remain in the
colder depths of meuntil you are no longer shocked by leaving the sun-warmed surface. Your training wheels are
off.  You reachtwenty feet below my surface.  Your breath is calmly held.  Yourbody is firm with my temperature. 
You open your eyesto see mirky, dark hues and faint objects within reach.  You feelslipperyrough of something. 
Grab it!  Surface! It's a faint string of seaweed with wood twisted in it.  The sunlightaids your discovery.  But it's
not enough. There's a whole ocean down here.  I'm waiting for you.

No prairie for you. You know me now.

I am the ocean.

I am art.

Copyright 2000, StephenBuckley
04/18/00 10:48 pm

Impeach Bush

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International Committee of the Red Cross

Amnesty International

Doctors Without Borders

No Sweat Apparel.com

Rumsfeld and The Grinch?
Separated at Birth?

the Onion


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