Silence and time.  They allow me to hear the noise of my thoughts, to sort them. Try and make sense of them, put them to good use.  There is no sound with me right now other than fingertips on keys, my constant companion tinnitus, and every once in a while an exhaled breath.  (Breath holding, bad habit number 298 that needs work.)

My thoughts are like a glass of sea water.  Let’s have a look at that glass.  On some days the glass is a happy little vessel of a certain age, content to be plain, unadorned, nothing fancy like her champagne days.   On other days the glass believes it is something else, some other thing that is chipped, cracked, black and purple bruised, the handle is broken and no one would want to sip from such a wreck. On the happy days the glass knows it can hold whatever I put into it, be it milk, champagne, or poison.  So often I put a scoop of sea water in my glass.  It’s full of salt, there is silt at the bottom, it is littered with sea debris that cannot nourish me or anyone.  I let it stand and watch the contents settle. It remains a glass of silty sea water.  I pour it out and watch bits of sand wash down the drain along with warm, sudsy water.  My thoughts are rarely clear, cool and refreshing, nourishing, but I would like them to be.

When I’ve had enough listening to my own noise I walk down to the ocean and listen to its noise, the gull noise, the chatter of spring birds who live in the condos behind. I hear the chatter of the people. I check my resting face and wonder if the ugly is still there, then erase it with a smile. I inhale and exhale because I forget.  Soon their chatter stops being noise and becomes their story–I am listening instead of hearing now.  Sometimes I am tempted to push their pause button, suggest a different tack to sail, give them a little food for thought. Then I remember that people aren’t looking for answers to questions they haven’t asked.  They just want to tell their story.

Someone once suggested an idea for their next art project and I thought to myself, “That’s kind of a strange idea.”  I almost said it aloud but stopped before I could tip the sea water out.  When my glass is tall and straight, filled with diamond water, I recognized that I wouldn’t tell a kid on the beach not to make a sand birthday cake, here kid, why not use this camera phone and take pictures instead?  Every person is their own story, they are the architects of their lives, and when they find a way to create, to express their wisdom, their pain, their struggle, their vision, all that’s left to do is celebrate!