chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: garibaldi


garibaldiThe compass has me thinking about diving. In the usually less-than-stellar visibility of the Channel Islands, we would kick along near the bottom, looking for small surprises hiding in the reef — tiny scuttling crabs, colorful nudibranchs, eels, lobsters, a little octopus pouring itself out of an abalone shell into a darkened crack in the rocky crust. We would slip through the kelp forest, glance up, perhaps catch sight of a salad-plate-size deep orange Garibaldi or a charcoal-dark bat ray, fluttering along the sand, but mostly it was a small-scale world of subtle color and elaborate disguise that rewarded patience and close inspection. It was a place I could get lost, holding the compass uselessly in front of me, as often as not surfacing to spot the shore, or the boat, taking a straight-line bearing, then descending once more for the return.

I look again at the compass, write the word: compass. I am surprised to see that it is almost compassion. Almost compassion. How did the compass squeeze itself into compassion?

In its spot on the corner of my desk, this object of mysterious compassion is not my familiar, though I am drawn to the idea of it, the usefulness of it, the language of it that I have not yet learned to speak.
garibaldi photo by Jim Haw