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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter


Last night in my dream I saw a glacier out the window. It invited me to walk on it, it’s name was murphy’s glacier. When I turned from the window the floors momentarily reflected sky then turned back to honey knotted wood. I balanced along a floorboard and came into another window. From there it was all sea, sea as blue, as blue as memory.

A profundity of gray under the surface both frightening and inviting. I catch myself from falling, grasp the window ledge, swing to the bed, beguiling in its illusion of comfort. I could dream away an entire week.  Sea and ice. I wonder if salt water freezes and remember the ice floes in the great northern expanses, the decreasing solidity, glimpse of a lost polar bear. What then of tears? Is the ocean full of god’s sadness or is it just all of humanity weeping? Death lurks out beyond the breakers. Where it quiets. We pay more attention to the waves, but it’s the depth we should study. The currents pull on us, the tides shape the shoreline.

There is an ocean inside us as well, full of reefs and sudden depths, Marked by corals I have never wanted to dive, snorkeling, looking down from the safety of the surface even as my breath catches with the possibility of falling. The windows reflect the changing sky, diffused, streaming, bright, wavering through shadow. Like the patterns of leaves or fireflies caught in the dusk. Then finally there is one great room with windows on the sea and a door to the mountains, where time and light merge.

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