"The only thing of value is the thing you cannot say." Wittgenstein
At King Salmon on that beautiful Sunday, my father-in-law praises
the day: the sun walks across the wavetops on Humboldt Bay, three pelicans wing north,
cumulonimbus puff themselves up, holding back the land. Looking out
across the water to where the jetties nearly touch, the waiting maw
of the Pacific, I want so much to say, Yes! Look on it well.
In a hundred years, these seas dead: too acid
to support life. And the shore? The melt from Greenland and Antarctica will drown
everything your eye touches. But how to say what cannot be said,
or cannot be said often enough: The earth is dying to us. We strangle her
with our numbers, our needs. But I choke back
the words. All I manage is the silence of witness
of this memory now given over. I place it
into the hands of the willing,
relying upon your witness.