Melinda Giordano

The Many Small Details

The seasons change in an alchemist’s patois – using a language that is rich in subtleties and mystery. It is a sum of transmutations that have been distilled in an earthly alembic ever since the world spun itself into existence.

The change is as delicate yet invasive as a drop of paint falling into a bowl of water, spreading in a fading bouquet of coils and tendrils. The cusp between seasons is a time of winsome details, tiny births and hushed deaths. There is an anthology of detail to regale one of what is to come, a silent speech of promises to be fulfilled once the threshold is crossed. This new dialogue, rough and poignant, contains a revelation of detail that curves into being every three months. It begins with a change as delicate as twilight dripping into dawn, as elusive as the stars twisting into a new formation.

It is on a periphery, a borderland familiar yet altered, a soft and gradual rift. If one is clever enough to look and see, to gather together the many small details like a bouquet the change does not go ignored and Nature’s herculean sweat will not be wasted. Nor will go unheeded the four conversions of the year: fraught with as much magic as a forgotten chemist’s lab, hung with colored glass, philosophies and saucers of bubbling gold.

Sea Change

Shells delineate the shoreline in a waving spine, steadfast in their salty acres – these homes I can hold in my hand. Architecture once submerged, they were born within currents that pulsed turquoise and lavender, growing behind a serene pelagic veil.

They tumbled in the boiling surf, helpless in the blind physicality created miles out at sea, where winds stirred the water into madness. It was a long journey, far from the depths where Neptune embraced the watery world with his verdant, muscular arms. They were far from the light that split into a labyrinth of prisms, from shadows that bloomed at the edge of the sunken earth.

When they were free of the ocean’s rough attentions, the glassy beach, reflecting seagulls and ships, beckoned. There they stretched, like an untended necklace, a rope to mark the extent of the ocean’s appetite.

Their bleached, fossilized skin, made of sand and salt, was tattooed with rhythmic designs. Cartographies of color and pattern were carved into the coiling bone. Products of Nature’s boundless whimsy and creativity, they were the sum of her busy fingers, carving skeletons into cathedrals, sweeping stairways and twisted carousels.

When she opened her hand, she whispered their story into each aquatic coil, then scattered them across the green and pearl-dazzled landscape of the sea. And anyone who picked up the shell to hold it close would feel her silvery breath and hear her dreaming narration of an empire of fishes, coral grottos, drowning suns, and a world far beyond our grasp.