Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sea shells

First the birds to the feeder, now I've fallen hard for shells.

Our hotel's beach is strewn with shells so exotic, I get a little grabby. I am from a place of stony Maine shores, of clam shells.

These are the shells that a country, somewhere, might use as currency.

Like many things examined for too long, these shells speak to me, each type (genus? family? spiral grouping?) with its shell-y personality.

The luminously white ones.

The common swirling and bumpy brown ones - to be found with tops pointed downwards, flat butts in the air.

The cowrie-like longer ones that find comofrt in clusters. At first, I thought: cowries! dude!. Now, though still like them, am over them and let 'em lie.

The tiny red, perfect shell. A miniature of some magnificent mother shell. Correctly elusive.

Little Masai shields. ¼ a fingernail in aggressive browns and fierce blacks.

Angel's wings of sienna and white patterned as the clouds of a particularly dramatic sunset.



There must be codes and their keys being communicated through the shells. The elegant exteriors, belying swirling internal complexity, might signal self-contained universes that, even in the speck of the just-born shells, are perfectly ordered.

And I trod on these little miracles on a beach comprised of their broken forms, before I can grasp even the smallest member of the population.

C - shell-swooning, more substantive stuff (like how was Christmas and where'd our luggage go, and character-sketches of Cocos Hotel's other guests) to follow.

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