Sunwards Sandwards

Concurrent reading makes certain passages glow more. Take for example Stewart Brand's The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility (advertised on its cover as "The Ideas Behind the World's Slowest Computer") still fresh in mind when encountering these lines from Richard Howard "Colored Stones" in No Traveller.


Braided black and white, the waves repeat
or imitate the rocks of Pemaquid;
these are the interferences of quartz
with granite, some archaic violence
garish as light on water. Stone to sand,
sea to sun, identical returns.
Identical in cycling but different in duration. In any event, the observation of the resemblance between the action of grit upon grit and the evaporation of water is neatly summarized in the motto: Stone to sand; sea to sun. Ah, now I see how the parallel is askew. Metonymy introduces a slippage. Sand and sun are not mere equivalents. This is not solely about the phenomena of erosion and evaporation. There is a turn of the cycle that is intimated but unstated: sedimentation. Sand turns to stone just as water returns. Long now indeed.

And so for day 1417