As Poem: A Pure Part of the Abyss as Primeval Source of Existence

I think of an abyss

As a deep cavern

Or the depths of the ocean,

A deep



Forbidding place.

I feel a foreboding at that thought.

The depths of space strike me the same way.

Emotional abyss is a place

Of despondency

Of loss

Of desolation.

The classical abyss,

The philosophical/spiritual/mystical abyss,

The Abyss as Primeval Source of Existence,

This is different to me.

I have always felt a part of the Oneness

Of the Universe.

Beyond my very modest

Rational thought understanding

Of the quantum multiverse

I feel Oneness encompassing all existence

I feel myself in that Oneness



I am a white-capped crest of a wave

A miniscule part of the ocean of existence.

The word part is insufficient

For there exists no boundary

No threshold

Between the part that is me

And the parts that I touch;

We are one.

As a wave, I am

Not a piece of water,

But a pulse

Travelling through the water

Rolling across the vast Pacific

Leaving warm tropical waters behind

I move through colder waters

To break on a distant shore.

I become a vibration in the rocks

In the sand

In the air

In the trees

In a human sitting over a tide pool

Reading these words.

I breathe the air.

Is the air I am about to inhale


Is the air I just exhaled


Is the air in my lungs


Is the oxygen entering my bloodstream


Is the carbon dioxide exiting my bloodstream


Are the photons of sunlight entering

My skin

My lens, cornea, iris, and retina


Where and when

Does the packet of pheromones

And essence of lavender

And flavor of pesto

And rot of compost

Entering my nostrils

Become me?

Where do vibrations

My daughter’s voice

The rimshot of a snare drum

The whine of my dog

The purr of my cat


My body


I feel the radiant heat

Of a bruised muscle

A fraction of an inch

From my hand

As with laying on of hands

I reduce inflammation

Without skin-to-skin


I feel the pulse of a meridian

I gently press a fingertip

Into an acupressure point.

I feel the chaotic, sickly energy

Of a migraine

In my hands.

I reposition the neck

Release the pressure

On the vertebrae

Release the tension

In the muscles.

Where does my client end

Where do I begin?

Where are the boundaries

Between my treatment table and my client

Between my client and me

Between us and the rest of the room?

Everything here

Is a room’s worth of nuclei

Kept apart by orbiting electrons

Electrons shared by nuclei

In molecules

Joined in communities

We identify as objects.

I feel oil and sweat

Of my client’s skin

Heat of my client’s muscles

In my hands,

The flow of my energy

Through and around my hands.

I sense the room’s atmosphere




I feel one with

Wind and sound and damp at the ocean’s edge

A roaring football stadium as one team comes together

And another falls apart

A hand on a swooping sculpture’s curve

My mind’s eye

My heart

My body

As I grok a Frankenthaler painting.

As I watch a spider spin her web

A flight of pelicans glide over the beach

A butterfly flutter

A dragonfly whoosh

A deer tiptoe

A coyote trot.

I feel Oneness

With redwood forest

Glacier-carved granite cliff


New-fallen snow.

I feel this

In love

In sex

In grief

In memoriam.

I feel this

In gratitude

In appreciation

In communication

In understanding.

I know this

In my sum totality

Which I ignore

In my separate parts.

For those parts are inseparable

Though they know not.

As students in a class are inseparable

They are the class.

As a family is separate as individuals

Yet interwoven as a family.

As a community is an interdependent whole

Intermeshed in myriad ways



And not.

I see you.

I hear you.

I feel you.

Yet I merely sense

My greater self

That includes us both

And all that we are.

We are one.

We are one in this time and place

This experience



And beyond

Time and place

Alive with potential

Alive with history

Here and now.

Only here and now.

And now.

And now.

So full.






On the margin between land and ocean,

On surf-piled and pounded rock

On foot-worn and pounded dirt,

I tread lightly or stomp

Or drag my feet

Or spring off my toes.

I am different each time.

I inhale the damp, salty, kelp scented spray

I revel in the chilly white cocoon

That hides the way in front

And behind.

The paths I leave for others

Are too many to count.

Many I do not consider,

Do not imagine

Do not tread.

I choose intuitively, unconsciously

Or after small debate

Or after retreating and redirecting

My steps.

Granite tentacles a hundred feet long

Embrace coves alternately rock or pebble or sand.

Granite tentacles worn knobby

By swell and ebb

Of each wave

In each set

In each tide.

Granite tentacles bleached white

By briny showers and baths.

For centuries

Pushed up into the air

By tectonic plates

Inch by inch

And still showered by salt

With each wave.

Pushed higher and higher through millennia

Moistened there only by fog and rain

Each tentacle becomes a hilltop ridge

For me to hike

And find mollusk remains

As the new loamy skin of the tentacle

Is shed with each tread of deer

Each hailstone or rivulet of runoff

Each tumbling pebble from my stride.

Still I wander, wend round outcrops

Clamber up and over

Round and round

Back and forth.

Each walk is unique in my path, my gait,

In the direction and strength and scent of the wind,

In the quality of light.

Dark, shadowy swells under offshore clouds

I barely see the foamy whitecaps.

Bright, golden sunrays pouring through holes

Spotlight a white and red and rust

Fishing boat

Running in deep water

Beyond the granite tentacles.

Quiet, the Pacific lives up to its name

I hear only screech of gulls,

Click of golf balls,

Bark of dogs.

Loud, the Pacific throws a wall of sound

Waves cascading



On granite tentacles.

I lean into the wind

I breathe deep

This air I am first to inhale

Full of life

Cold and brisk

Untamed before it furls and unfurls

Over lighthouse and fairways

Trees and houses and cars

To refresh the town

To which I turn at last

To spoon chowder

And fork or chopstick

Catch of the day.

I drive to my solid walls and windows

I settle into my cocoon

Of blankets and quilts and gas heat

Comfortable knowing I am near

The margin between land and ocean.

I will visit again tomorrow

Or the day or week after

But soon

Very soon.