in my absence I have surrounded myself with books and music. living from devouring lyrics and pages. laying still while the words and notes wash over me. I have gone exploring in the darkest corners of my being, discovering truths and lies that have passed my lips. cloaking myself with stories and songs I creep from the corner of the dusky room. making my way to the front porch, I sit on the top step and watch as the sky clings to the sunset then silently releases its grip. shaking off my cover, I descend the steps into the dooryard then slide out the front gate. in these first few minutes of night, everything is still, there is a tension in the air as if the world was going to erupt at the slightest provocation. slipping unseen around the corner I start humming a tune of my own making. weaving an impossible story, the melody rises and falls with thunder and fire and I am suddenly aglow as the night comes to life. continuing my song, I sneak up on the dunes that protect my beach. pulling off my shirt and shoes I make a b-line for the surf. the water is warm and inviting. diving through the breakers in the dark, the only sound is white noise and my faint beat in the background. past the waves I flip over on my back and tread water. away from the lights, the sky is dazzling, it takes my breath away. I reach up and take a scoop of the milky way. slurping some out of my hand, I spread the rest over my face and head. as soon as it touches the water, the whole ocean is glowing and I can’t tell the sea from the sky. I hear a different sound, the largest symphony orchestra is tuning up for something amazing and Leonard Cohen is reciting “Amen” beside me. this is starting to become more than I bargained for. as mr Cohen finishes the last stanza I head for the beach. exhausted, throwing myself onto the sand, I turn towards the ocean to see the sun rising and the first of the pelicans skirting the low waves. heading back to the house, i take up my song again, not quite sure how to finish it. entering the house, i have a brief moment of doubt. was any of this real? i smile to myself as i look back at the foyer seeing all the water and sand on the wood floor. I start the shower going, while it warms up I turn up the volume on radio and start singing at the top of my voice. the words wash through me, I am on my way back. words and music anchoring my soul, giving me some stability in an unstable world.