Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The sound of adjustment

I'm going to a favorite beach this morning to walk before I undertake some stressful family duties. Sea air and the whoosh and boom of waves seem to both energize and soothe me.

What I really want is that external barrage on my senses--to still the yapping of my mind, to quell anxiety, to give me strength for the trials--and for a sad weight I'm carrying in my heart for another friend's family.

I have no idea what the beach will be like, although I did check my tide guide, which says I'll get there between the high and low tides today. If the tide is high at this beach, I walk on a trail east of railroad tracks. If the tide is low, I can go barefoot along the shore. Although it might be cold on the toes today.

The other thing that happens at this beach is periodic deposit of rocks and pebbles, all worn smooth by the grinding of surf but still too much for bare feet.

What I love about the rocky days is the sound. Have you heard it? The clattering of stones as they shift with the rush in and trickle out of each hissing, sighing wave?




What sounds do you hear? How would you write it?
Clack. Rattle. Clink.
Chatter. Can rocks chatter? I think so.
I'm listening for them to tell me how to adjust to the tides of life.

21 comments:

Davin Malasarn said...

I also love the ocean. That external barrage is exactly how I think about it also. I've also always been fascinated by the fact that the moon's gravity is pulling at it, making the waves. So beautiful!

I once had a friend tell me that her favorite part of the ocean was the quiet between waves. Like the ocean was taking a breath, she said. I used that in a story--couldn't let that one go by!

Kristi Faith said...

Oh you are making so much more homesick. *sigh* I really miss the Ocean.

I love your descriptions!

Yat-Yee said...

I love the ocean: the waves, the sounds, the expanse, the rhythms.

Hope your time by the ocean has helped you deal with what's on your heart.

Liza said...

Our shores are all rocky. Chatter IS the word, though in a pinch, maybe clatter. Sometimes it sounds a little like applause.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love living by the ocean and the mountains. Of course, the ocean is kind of full of ice right now, but that's okay. It's still there!

I love the smell of the ocean too. It's perfection.

Robyn Campbell said...

MMMM, the smell of salt water and the feel of the water lapping at my feet. So cool and refreshing.I grew up in the Keys. I miss it so!

Hmmm, clap, clunk, clap, clunk. Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat. The ocean waves talk to the rocks. I did too. Wonderful post, my friend. :) I needed something wonderful today.

Donna said...

Lovely description to take us to the beach in spirit. May the rocky shores applaud you. (I like that, Liza.)

Tamika: said...

Beautiful post, I felt like I was there. A cool mist of salt water on my face.

I haven't been to the ocean since I was a kid.

V. S said...

Lovely post, I haven't visited the ocean in quite sometime. I think I'll go soon :)

Tess said...

Oh, I hope your day goes well and everything sifts out as it should be.

I grew up in Thousand Oaks - would drive down Kanan Road to Malubu every chance I got. Ah, those are sweet memories.

Sharon Mayhew said...

I was born in England and insist on seeing the ocean once a year. I tell my husband that I was born on an island. I have to hear the sea at least once a year.

I hope your worries wash out with the tide. I'm having a three wishes contest on my blog...You can post three of your non-writing wishes and perhaps win a gift card.

MG Higgins said...

I live several miles from the ocean but in the very early morning when it's quiet and the tide is high and the waves are large, we hear a low and constant roar. At first we thought it was the sound of an engine, maybe an industrial-sized motor, until we "followed" the sound one morning and ended up at the jetty. Aha!

Congratulations on finishing NaNo!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I grew up in Seattle, totally in love with the ocean. Now I live very happily in Montana, but after this post...sigh. :)

PJ Hoover said...

OMG, I so miss the beach now. There really is nothing like it.

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh, the tides of life. How I wish I could flow with them or at least know where they are going to flow :) I hope your beach walk was beautiful.

Lisa Dez said...

I think I have to thank you and Sarah both and marvel at our small, incestuous writing world. Sarah With a Chance, who happens to me my agent sister, gave you the Honest Scrap award. You, then, passed it along to my seriously awesome crit partner, Andrea Cremer, who has now passed it on to me. What are the odds? And what the hell is an honest scrap? Are there dishonest scraps? This is something of which I’m totally unaware O.O

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow. It is so nice to come back to all these great comments. My beach walk was grand; the after duties not, but that was expected.

Davin: The ocean taking a breath--now that's a great image.

Kristi: I am always homesick when away from the sea.

Yat-Yee: Yes, rhythms and expanse. Those are key. It helped me deal, let's put it that way.

Liza: Chatter and applause--wonderful!

Stephanie: I love the moment when you are nearing the sea and first smell it. I suck it in.

Robyn: mmmm, I love the waves lapping at my feet, that's why I go barefoot when possible.

Donna: Thanks for the support. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tamika: Oh, you must remedy that and get thee to a beach!

Victoria, glad to hear you're on your way!

Tess: Sift. That's a good word. At first, it was sifting nicely and then, well, not. But I try to keep balanced with things like the walk.

Sharon: Are you a Brit or an American born there? I was born in Paris (to American parents) and lived in Kent for just the briefest part of my early life.

Mel: I love that you followed the roar and found the sea. Totally cool.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shannon: You traded one beauty for another. But I don't know if I could cut my tether to the sea.

PJ: Precisely!

Tab: My beach walk was superb. Not only sunny and pretty, but I was taking mental notes for my new novel is set in that area. Was wonderful.

Hi Lisa: So nice to have you visit! Honest and dishonest scraps, well, can't say that I've met either but they sound intriguing. I like to think it means we're scrappy writers, not afraid of a little labor. But that's only my best guess. I adore Sarah's and Andrea's blogs and will immediately visit yours.

Bish Denham said...

Oh I know the sound of the click-clacking rocks very well. (I have tough feet and can walk on those rocks.) There is also the soughing of waves gently washing on the sand, the water being sucked back out to sea. It is a rhythmless rhythm as old as the day the ocean first met the shore.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Bish: Yes, island-girl, I figure you know the sea like breath itself. I like that soughing and sucked back out--nice description.