i don’t know.
i’ve still got those in a corner, from that cold channel, stuffed in a pocket of my black wool coat, carried back home.
that was a reminder of me, not of us.
i have bowls of them, years of memorabilia comprised of ones you can hold up to your ears and ones you can just hold. i can’t hear the ocean anymore in them, they are passive.
and unlike some memories, i don’t have a visceral reaction anymore when i look at them.
but ask me and i’ll tell you – i prefer the gray sand dollars over tropical shells.
i prefer what quiets my senses, wraps me in ease, lets me breathe gently.
the shells were the places i’d been. but in the end, when i find my toes in wet sand, i drop to my knees to find the gray, the familiar sensation, the rough edges yet a simple shape.
and i feel that i am home when i look at you. you and your simplicity.