Friday, June 26, 2009


Robin's Cove, 2003

I may be a little simple-minded about this. But I like to think the water behind my house connects me with all the other places in the world to which this water is connected.

I’ve never taken my canoe beyond the mouth of the Lynnhaven River, nor my little powerboat much beyond the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. By if the physicists are to be believed, the tidal creek behind my house contains little bits of water from the Nile, the Amazon, the Venetian lagoon (the real one, not that pond in Vegas), the Seine, the South Seas, the Puget Sound, the grey-green, greasy Limpopo and even the estuary of Jiulongjiang River that flows past my friend Karin Faulkner’s window in Xiamen, China. And if its true that matter never disappears and just reconstitutes itself in different forms, with those drops of water from all those places comes all the history of those places; from Marco Polo's trips to China to the Polynesians crossing the Pacific on grass mats to Vikings crossing the Atlantic wearing hats topped with antlers to the wrecks of the Titanic, the Graf Spee and Thresher. These and countless other atom-sized bits of time and space are in all the drops of water in the little creek behind my house.

Water’s unites us and divides us. It can keep us both warm and cool. We play in it. We fight over it. We steal it. We dump crud into it. We harvest sustenance out of it. It gives us a lot considering how shabbily we treat it at times.

I think about all this when I sit on our pier and watch the fish jump and the crabs and muskrats scramble along the muddy edges at low tide. When we first moved here I thought this was the most peaceful place on earth. But now, what with all this marine life and history, I find it can be damned noisy.


  1. It's a lovely notion. This post reminds me of Isak Dinesen, or Elspeth Huxley, or Beryl Markham, and their love of place you feel for their homes in Africa. I could read passages of their work over and over again.

  2. I enjoyed your musings. I've thought something similar, though it involved the Bismarck, down off Uruguay--or so I remember from "Sink the Bismarck"--rather the Graf Spee in the North Atlantic. Anyway, here we are, a temporary configuration of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and a handful of other dust...thinking. Bests, Paul

  3. Chris,
    This is a wonderful image. Your insights are fascinating and add a another dimension to your images.
    BTW:I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

  4. It's Karen desperately seeking Karin. We went to Holton-Arms (high school) together. Would you be so kind as to ask her to look up "the other Karen" on Facebook? Forever grateful, Karen Bralove

  5. Thank you, xie-xie, Chris for passing Karen Bralove's message on to me. And it happened here on your blog page titled, 'Connections.'

    This is a beautiful and idea-memory provoking piece. Makes me sit here, looking at your blue water image and muse.

    Karin F.