I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

I hear that lobsters’ shells do not grow. Rather the lobster hides under a rock, sheds its old small shell, and grows another. It never thinks to itself, “Oh, I need a new shell, and that looks an excellent rock”. Its need, sensation, desire, feeling and action are all one. Possibly it knows its territory and has tucked away in some dedicated dendrites the location of a suitable stone, possibly it has time to find one. Possibly its need for a new shell conflicts with other needs, but it makes no decision. You can’t imagine a lobster under a rock, and its mates come past and say, “Fancy a pint?” And the lobster says, “I’m changing my shell”. And its mates say, “Pull the other one! You said that last month, but that shell has lots of mileage left. You’re embarrassed by what the bar staff did. They’ve forgiven you!” And the lobster says, “I’m changing my shell”.

There are no silent seas, even if mermaids don’t sing. The currents rush past, the whales cry, and the sonar is deafening, and the engines of the great ships loaded with oil or containers are deafening. The silent sea is a dream of a more comfortable place, which does not exist. So we find comfort in this one. I may see myself through others’ eyes. “I am taken aback by how insightful you are,” said one. I went to look it up, I had remembered it as “wise”. It is worth remembering, even if one has more insight on others’ problems than ones own, like the “Ten ways to keep your relationship vibrant” article by the thrice-divorced man.

And I value my care and attention. I was insightful because I cared about them, admired them, wished them well, gave them my attention. I value my joy. It is communicable. I see the beauty of the tidal river’s strong flow upstream, and of Orion overhead as I cycle at night, and the joy is in me, and I can use it to make the world better. There is so much to feed my joy. Eye-contact with the cashier as I took my groceries away and I had a boost cycling up that steep hill from the postman’s cheery encouraging: “You’re nearly there, Miss Flourish!”

Sometimes desire, feeling and action are all one, and all the feelings are right. Sometimes words mediate judgment, and I find the right way that way. Words help me balance future with now, but ants do that without words, says Aesop.

Valued only a little by another, I can value myself. Sometimes I do not realise how others value me, and sometimes

treasure, appreciate and admire

Oh! I would make excuses- even going about as blindly as I have you see stuff in twenty extra years- and yet-

If there might be a “we”, that “we” would appreciate beauty together, for it moves your heart as it does mine, and you see it and have the words for it. Dance. Enjoy words. If there were a we, we would warm each other. “Know that you are loved,” one would say, and the other would


There is a We. It is a blessing and a source of joy.


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