Waves love stone. Watching, you feel like a voyeur: their relation so personal, intimate, ancient. It’s a metaphor for marriage, storm and calm, the changing tides, water shaping stones, stone giving water a place to fall, to pool, to rise to become cloud and fall again. Ancient. They can take each other for granted. Or even granite. Here’s a story: outside grey-stony-Stromness, if you walk the beach west past Churchill’s bunkers, west toward the cemetery, you might start to see how the stone of each small bay you walk is a different colour of sunset: amber umber smoke soot apricot plum soot peach storm. Then you glance up to see a wall, each stone placed and known by callused hands and beyond that the gravestones, families’ grief and pride channelled by the carver’s chisel. Above those, the hills are full of cairns, tombs, howes, words for stones arranged around the bones of our dead, keeping holy the fragile stones once inside our flesh. The end. Listen to the waves. You’d never guess they’re slowly eating stone. Wind does too but water is master here: stone, I will love you till I wear you away. We’ll be one then, I swear.
I might scour you to sand but will forget you never.
I’ll break you. Undermine you. But not will forget.
I will never not touch you.
I love your every curve and edge,
I kiss you lick you roar and bite. How can you not believe the tale of the lone stone up on the hill who one day each year can bear it no more but must walk down to the lake and drink? How could it not? See its face in the water, stern and devoted. Amber umber smoke apricot plum soot peach storm. The end.