collecting shells

Has anyone ever seen a live sand dollar? Or do they only exist in shell? On my wall in the bathroom as decoration with their flower tattoos embroidered at the heart?

We collect the shells of things, glance at house frames driving by and when we see the lights on at night, the windows open, the man walking past peering in, do we wonder what it’s like inside another shell?
We are all things contained in things contained in things until it’s the core of us. The world is layered upon us in so many colors, in so much dirt and oiled skin, in air that keeps changing. No wonder we are forced to change so rapidly, so often.

The idea of a world that can’t and won’t change seems so dark, malnourished and sick. I need to be stronger now. Begin to listen to my truths. If I am not louder in my needs or my truths I’ll be paralyzed in a shell that can’t contain me.

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4 Responses to collecting shells

  1. I don’t remember ever seeing a live sand dollar, just the shells after the inhabitants had left.

    All on its own, I believe the world does change, perhaps the truly dependable thing. It is we humans who try to stay in place. The image came just now that we are boatmen, knowing intimately the waters we traverse (your Montana rivers may have helped this vision) and it is by being attuned to each shift of the current or tide that we adjust and proceed. While our internal truths may expand or refine themselves, I think, once we know them and their voices, we have a constant which can be trusted, a center to which we can return or retreat in any weather.

    • rachvb says:

      We seem to be the only creatures on the planet who try to stay put aren’t we? It’s strange. I wonder why?
      Perhaps it was the waters, perhaps it was going back at all to a place and a me not me anymore.
      I feel shifts very strongly in myself these past few years. Definitely attuned to them more than ever. It’s odd like sand bars shifting. The same matter just in different places.
      The voice is a constant. That is very true.
      I like the idea of knowing my tides and currents. Thanks for the image.

  2. LtotheJ says:

    Just to let you know, I’ve caught PLENTY of live sand dollars in my day. I always tossed them back into the ocean because keeping it felt like committing murder. And a murder I am not!
    It’s fuzzy around the edges, the color of sand and smells like fish. Only in death, bleached of all life, are they truly beautiful.

  3. rachvb says:

    That seems sad to me that they are more beautiful in death after we clean them up. I’d like to see a live one all smelly and hairy and I’m sure beautiful in it’s own way. I’m glad you threw them back. You’re certainly no murderer.

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