For Valentine's Day

Early maps had middles from which lines went outward, joined other lines as roads and rivers, then disappeared in boundaries defined by unknowns. The ocean, like a curtain drawn to separate land from sky with its vast border advancing and receding, ceaselessly reorganizing, shattering against rock and turning stone to sand, defined the most concrete notion of a clear boundary. As we stood one evening at the edge with our toes tucked in sand, a cone of light stretched from our feet across the water toward a round and silver moon. The strands of light gathering loosely thirty or so yards out appeared to converge, then drawn to the highest crests, shatter in a billion pieces across a billion waves, arriving and vanishing in infinite rhythms of chaotic beauty. We knew that if we were to separate and walk in opposite directions, our moon in its stubborn resolve would lay in duplicate a path for each of us, and we, equally implicit in the grand illusion would accept that we each held the middle of a singular map. Without a word, we stood firm and motionless, stubborn as the moon, an undivided centre, refusing to define the vague boundaries that held us together.