by Zach T Power
i am taken by the sands of time, what i mean to say is that i am given a small cup of sand that i have been counting my whole life, and i will continue to count this cup until i die. i don’t know what the point is, but when life gives you a cup of sand you count it, even if there are a trillionish grains, each grain a minuscule making in and of itself.
sometimes when i am not counting sand, i take a piece and inspect it closely, i notice its color and shape, and at other times i will take this grain of sand and i will put it next to others; sometimes i like to pick my favorite ones; sometimes i draw them and pretend that it is another to itself, another to me; i name them; daresay, i sometimes grind them, eat them, or imbibe them with some of my favorite water from the ocean (well, only a small swig (it’s wishful thinking, or i mean magic, or faith, or hope, or a mixture of it all, and then i wonder (as i leave the realm of sand) what would happen if i mixed wishing and magic and faith and hope all together in some great novel that would spill out of me (and then i wonder if the ocean isn’t already the best cocktail of all the arts of imagination (or do you think the sky is better than the ocean).
there was a time, when i was about twenty-three that i lost track of what number of sand i had counted up to. it was a hard time for me. i considered starting over. i determined that the best thing to do was to pretend that i knew what number i was on. i felt a load of lack of meaning. i didn’t know what number i was on, and i would never learn again what number i was on. it was around this time that i made attempts to remember my formative years, remember my childhood, remember what i used to do as a child. i tried to remember things that stood out (the time I pushed a lawn-mower through weeds taller than me, the time I was in a barn with a paintball gun, the time my father (or was it me) speared a mouse on the back-porch with a sharpened pvc pipe, the time i thought i saw a red firefly, the time i dug a hole in the beach), and i wondered why they stood out, and how i could make standing out stand a little more often. had i lost control, or was i losing myself?
this is what my imagination has offered me. of course, I could make some clever connection to the ways in which literature and art connect to the infinite, memory, me, those who have submitted to the journal, the things they have chosen to submit, why we all picked what we did. but instead of doing that i want to say that there is no way to know. there is certainly no way for me to tell you any of this: how someone stayed up late writing a story or a poem, or just sitting next to a cup counting sand. i cannot tell you why people write. i do not know what we see in the sand, why we enumerate it, how we find it pretty and pretty scary, and how we have learned to ignore it at night long enough to sleep. i don’t know, i imagine. i don’t know. i imagine.