wild-and-free-seacape painting by daniel-ambrose

Wild and Free, oil painting by Daniel Ambrose

 The candle burns low, the paling stars have traced their ageless path through the heavens, and the black edge of night is graying.

A sighing…hesitant, like a ragged whisper, the candle flutters, curtains stir, the wind begins to moan and hums upon my windowpanes.

She is near. Softly she is calling.

Her sublime presence eases the primal yearning in my soul. Her voice, will I ever cease longing for the sound of her voice? Whence comes this restlessness that arises in my breast whenever I venture far from the perfume of her embrace?

When was this distress at separation born in me? As a baby, I crawled on the shimmering blanket she spread before me. Her iridescent colors spun from sea and sky. As a child, I rolled in the sunshine of her laughing belly. When as lost teenager, I fled far inland, westward to the mountains, than found I was homesick for her. Then a father, I raised a family on the river she fed. And now, a solitary man, I honor her haunting beauty in paintings, gilded in silver. When the cares of the world intrude, she comforts the child in the man. Her soothing breeze caresses my troubled spirits, assuring me everything will be all right.

At sunrise I seek her sovereign shores, and walk the tawny sands of her soft shoulders. Her salt is my salt. She strings endless necklaces of white shells to adorn her saline contours. Beneath my bare feet, a flash of  golden sunlight ignites her liquid border, running like fire along a gunpowder fuse.

In her dancing light I am drawing, adoring her graceful movements, the fickle way she changes direction, each new wave, breaking like a passing thought. She is always reaching for a distant shore. Searching. Sometimes she retreats into herself, her calm face disguises the dark undercurrents troubling her soul. In vulnerable moments, she trusts, transparently revealing secrets anchored in the channels of her heart. Standing defenseless before her, like Job listening, I feel her reaching for me, the trying touch, the pause, the long slow retreat. And I know, too late, she is withdrawing from me.

In the ripples of her departure she leaves me eternal gifts. Her summer song murmurs the lullabies of my cradled childhood. She comes to me when the palms begin to sway in the night.  Every star winks at her in vain, while the moon lays a glittering path for my dreams to float over the fullness of her undulating body.

She sings mournful ballads of all who trespassed against her, and the great secrets of kings and queens she harbors in her fathomless womb. She confesses of the storms that rage in her depths and offers forgotten fables to birds who come to pluck nourishment from her life-giving breast. Fabulous tales of of birds that never leave the earth, men who could fly, and one who once walked on water.

At twilight she clothes herself in radiant veils of aqua and lavender hues. White birds come one by one to ritual bow before evening darkness cloaks her fluid being. Night descends, and their silent bodies leave no shadow to follow them as they melt away in the dying light.

In her dangerous presence I founder, knowing her power to drown all my senses, succumbing to the knowledge she is my saving grace. Knowing I could never say what she has no need to hear, never return what she does not want. For her, I exist solely to bear witness to her terrible beauty.

Time and again, my life giving queen seduces me with her capricious nature. I offer my gift of art, and still she asks for all that I have, and will someday receive my remains into her bosom. Her wealth is boundless, and yet, she is the frailest of vessels. Her fragile soul is scarred, her treasury stolen from her, even while she seizes all that her relentless tides can swallow.

 So tender and terrifying. . . is she mistress or muse, ruled or ruler, my mystical siren?

 Shall it be I who needs her, or she who needs me?


Image of candle burning in artist Daniel Ambrose studio

The candle flares, my cat pads into the room, coffee has cooled.  There can be no dream without the dreamer. Fire needs air and love is the fuel.

The wind shifts seaward… come with me, she whispers.

 Come and be… wild and free.

 Come to me.




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