There is a beach that I love, the first beach on the Oregon coast I felt as at home with as my own dear James river, with it’s rocky shore with it’s gray and brown and steely water, I cannot shake it, this adoration, the way I will bury my self in it’s sand, the way I will immerse my self in it’s frigid, frigid water when few else ever dare. It is like love to accept her this dangerous expanse of ocean, Pacific, taking every ounce of concentration to stay a float, and sitting on the shore she comes to lick at my toes, in a rushing fake out, she comes up and I laugh at her fickle frolicking and flirting. It is interesting and endearing, I know she dangerous but I love her, it is for that danger that I come. Or is it?
Am I as fickle a lover as my very own lovers, who lust after the angst, the dark the suspense of my own troubling dark waters that they call “worth the risk.”
But recently my darkness has been so great, so transformative, I was sure I would lose the ones I love.
So I ran to my beach, Agate Beach, where I so many times had run before, for whiskey, fire and water. My best friend and I slid down the steep gravel to the little path that would take us to our favourite little alcove of ocean, rock, sand and forest, and we turned the corner to see the ocean roiling, out of some book in which the sea rises in retribution, in cleansing anger towards the shore, and all the sand was gone, in the waves tossed around like twigs, logs the size of boats raced along the shoreline dangerous as hungry sharks, as torpedoes. And I catch, my breath, not in fear of the towering waves, or the half submerged death sticks, but in fear of how much that altered shoreline looked like me. Like what my lovers so often have gone through when the water comes in taking over my soft dry spots, my sanity, it rips away the sand revealing jagged rocks and debris, shit from fucking Japan, it is me I meet on Agate beach where no one else is venturing, all of her lovers have fled because it is too much, they are right to go, to flee to get the fuck out of there because she is a treacherous bitch. I know her, I am her.
"PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER".
I am not crazy just, sad,
I know it pushes everyone away,
to see me struggling
but I don’t know what to do.
So I try and show you how to love me,
by sitting and listening to things I don’t understand.
Am I so hard stomach, that I worry you to death?
This is not always, I promise, please don’t let go.
I can be better, I can be your support,
if you would only please be mine
It is so dark when the shadows roll in. and it is so bright when the sun comes up.
It is all over whelming and confusing it is all like heaven and hell together
to feel this way
to love you
to love anything,
it is all so like heaven and hell,
scalding and dark,
enrapturing and light,
it is all of these things to breathe,
Christal Mancari/Writer. Luke Mancari/Photographer
Siblings from Virginia,
I have asked my brother who I now live 2,772.3 miles away from, to help me close the distance between us by combining our talents of writing and photography. I will be starting a series of short stories and poems based on the photographs he sends me.
It is hard to live so far from one I love so much, someone who is growing up so well, with so much talent. I am sad to not be there with him, the way my sisters were with me, that I am not just upstairs to talk to about girls, and bullies, and homework. I miss him and all the things that I wish we could do together.
When he and I were still both young and lived in Virginia, we would have what we proclaimed as Sunday Afternoon Adventures! No matter the weather we suited up for snow, rain, or sun, to forge streams and climb bridges, to find sandy beaches along the river, to build mud castles. We were little Indians, although I was past the age of playing make believe I wanted him to have what my sisters and I had on the hill side in Pennsylvania. I wanted him to stay out under the trees till dark, but I was a teenager and I wasn’t always there the way I should have been, I wasn’t always the sister that in my heart I knew I should be, and many times he played alone.
Now I am in Oregon, and he is in Virginia, we both still have access to water ways, woody glades, but not to each other. I am not upstairs in my attic sanctuary, I am hardly even a phone call away with our differing schedules and timezones. So this project is for us, for us to relearn what it is to be siblings and friends, to work together, to go on amazing adventures with one another, just like the days when we were young and he got is shoes wet in the icy stream so I gave him mine. Through words and image we get to know each others hearts, we get share the things that matter.
There once was a girl who lived in cities, she rode on buses, and worked in restaurants and bars, and sometimes she walked the streets late at night, at times when no young girl should be walking.
Her name I cannot exactly recall but we will call her Naira, this means “big eyes” in Quechua, because she gave and took so much through her eyes that never seemed to close. But in legend some would call her Wakanda, and this mean “possesses magical power”.
She was almost like any other poor, young girl in a city scape trying to scrape by with a hint of potential for perhaps music, art, or writing. And yet there was something else, born in her, it would be called a magic, a gift, a blessing. She had the power to transform you into the version of your self you miss the most, the child who built forts and baked mud pies in the sun, this was her blessing and her curse.
She didn’t cure you, she just saw you, she saw the old men in the park who were nodding off in tired hopes it would be their last nod, she saw them as if they are small napping boys after a long day playing wild games in the city’s green pockets.
they called you a magnet, a magnet, that does not discriminate, it pulls the bad and the good, and you are afraid to let any of it in, or any of it go.
There is a song I listen to over and over again,
it sounds like tires over gravel at my first apartment,
it smells like the James river,
it pulls like weed at the back of my head,
it taste like PBR and camel blues,
it echoes in the sun through leaves,
it is like pulling up grass in your front yard at 3AM