Tuesday, July 28, 2015


That's the shell out of which I shook an almost fetus-like blob of gray slime a couple of weeks ago in my cottage at Hedgebrook. Slurp, it slid out. Now it sounds like the sea. It's a perfect breast and it's a shell. What is that whorl called at the tip? Are there names for such beauty? If you lift it up, the edge curls over, a ledge, hard, smooth and shiny, tinted pink that disappears in a curve. My finger strains to feel up and inside the darkness on the underside of the whorl. I am certain no one has seen inside.

That's my first copy of To the Lighthouse, and it's filled with tiny margin notes, written by me and a boy I loved. I've underlined this.

To want and not to have, sent all up her a body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have - to want and want - how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again!


  1. That tip is known as the apex. Beautiful picture.

  2. I have that exact same edition of To the Lighthouse. I found it at a used book sale and loved the cover. I've never read it though. I keep saying I will.

    The shell is so beautiful.

  3. It's moon snail. I have a few of these scattered around my bookshelves.

  4. What a pair they are. The book listening to the ocean and the shell listening to the book?

  5. I'm glad you saved the shell from whence came the slime. You suffered for it!

  6. I also have that same edition, with liner notes!
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the sublime synchronicity of "a moon, worn as if it had been a shell"

  7. The shell and the quote are perfect companions, seeking, yearning, full of mystery.



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