Monday, May 11, 2015

A storm tossed shell serves as a reminder of a life spent in the cold dark depths of the open ocean

I found this delicate spiral shell in the beach of Guajataca after a specially nasty spell of high waves. Actually this is not a shell in the sense that is usually attached to seashells by the general public. This is the internal structure of a cephalopod, Spirula spirula, which lives its life at great depth far out in the Atlantic Ocean. After the animal dies, this structure which acts as a floater, rises to the surface where it is sometimes carried by the wind to a wave tossed beach. This one is in particularly good shape as most of those that I have found are a little chipped or even broken by their journey through the surf. Finding this shell sent me into a meditative mood. It is a small relict of a life spent in total alienation from what I consider the stuff of our normal life, a life spent in the darkness, the depth and the cold of the abyss. I cannot help but wonder if one day someone or something will come across a tiny bit of my existence and will try to make sense of how my life was.

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