Sunday: Writing Church is in Session
On Tortola, small island of soca music and iguanas, we went to a small bay that wasn't really very good for snorkeling. The family was disappointed. I walked down the beach and found a pelican sitting on a beach chair. Very still and serene. I said, "Hello." It blinked and watched me. I sat down in the next chair. 2 1/2 feet from the bird. "Nice morning," I said. It turned and looked out at the water. Later, as I sat on the sand, the pelican wandered over and settled in near me. We watched the bathers and the boats. We got in the water. The pelican bobbed around like a paper boat in the clear Caribbean wavelets. I couldn't believe it. Sure, I wasn't seeing any shipwrecks or eels or barracudas or "Nemo" fish. But I was floating around with this unbelievably mellow pelican. Let's face it--I think it was stoned. I think some of that local ganja got to the pelican, because it blinked very slowly and looked like it wanted to laugh. Or maybe that was just me--wanting to laugh. I didn't even feel too jealous when the New York tourists found the big bird and started snapping pictures of it as it floated by like a small pirate ship. Cinderella got us some rum drinks. I did laugh when the Snapshot-Dad got pinched by a white crab he was harrassing. The beach master, a handsome man in dreads, said, "How you doin'? You all right, mon?" I tipped my rum-bomb at him and smiled. "I don't turn dark in this sun," he told us all, holding up an arm the color of 3:00 a.m. "I turn white!" He went off to make sure his lounge chairs were being rented. That was the world, and that was all the writing in the world for that day. Here's Franz Kafka on my pelican:

"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice. It will roll in cstacy at your feet."

It has no choice. Neither do I.

Glad to be home with you.

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