Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Islands

It is the light of early morning. Free of any trace of dawn, a crystalline brightness is in place. It is as if dawn had never been, and dusk will never be, and the overbearing presence of noonday sun is but a myth. The sky is an unimposing blue reflected perfectly in the water which holds two sandy isles interminably apart from any other land mass and teasingly separate from one another. They are so close that they are almost one, but the sea finds its way between them as the waves lap at their shores. As each group of waves rolls out to make way for the next, a narrow band of wet sand is exposed, the link between the twin islands. It is as if they hold hands under the water, keeping their bond in discretion. The water comes and goes between them. They accept its constant demand for attention, the way it tickles their extremities and holds them apparently apart. The sea water sparkles like liquid silver kissing their shores and flowing into little eddies. Its motion is gentle. Water creeps to shore in elliptical arms of foam and scattered sand and slips away again without commotion. It is quiet, making hardly a sound as it makes its rounds. Like a gentle breath it whispers in and out.
Ivory columns rise from the soft mounds of sand, the remains of a forgotten civilization. They look as smooth and creamy colored as if time and the elements have never touched them. There is no sign of weathering and yet walls are missing, blocks lay scattered in configurations that dance between the realms of chaos and symmetry, and columns lay in peaceful repose.
On the larger isle the ruins are mainly intact. Open aired temples slope slightly, as if one half of their structures are slowly sinking, being swallowed by the fawn colored grains of sand. Their floors are absent under those same hungry kernels. Nowhere is there a symbol, or sign, or statue to betray an origin. They stand plain and silent, void of explanation, free of personality. From the centermost structure every shore of the island is in plain view, no more than 30 feet away in any direction.
The smaller island is even more diminutive, hardly a sliver. It is placid host to a few fallen walls and two natural rock formations which lay sprawled like creatures from the deep come to lounge upon its scant surface. Dark gray and cool to the touch, these boulders have been shaped by the sea. They hold its precious deposits, tiny white shells embedded in their surfaces.
Silver foamed surf laps gingerly at a little pool that has collected near one of these inert bodies. The pool is filled with stones, each perfectly rounded by an eternal affair with sand and water. Some are of an earthy yellow hue, others as clear as glass. Polished by nature’s invisible hand, they are smooth and shiny. By some means, they have come to be stacked in the pool so that they form a lazy pyramid, sparkling under the water’s surface. The eye is drawn to them, the hand will yearn to touch. Their rarity and unassuming beauty lends them a value that far out reaches currency. Nothing is comparable. Like everything else here, there is nothing that they may be measured against, no sign of time or trend to define them.
The two islands cling to one another, without a past or future, holding their ageless ward; the alabaster ruins and its natural treasures, just above water level.

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