Jul 14, 2007

LOPEZ ISLAND, San Juans, Washington – I am an old woman who fished alone in Puget Sound and I had gone 84 days now without taking a fish.

Everything about me was old, except my eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

I crouched, knife in hand. It was a good knife, borrowed from the herb woman, that wise woman on the lighthouse rocks. My prey broke the surface and then resubmerged – a coquette, bobbing always beyond range.

I stared into the depths. The herb woman said, "it is only thigh-deep at the edge. Should I help you?"

"No," I said. "This is a thing I must do alone."

Her presence – dark-eyed and quiet as any icon – did not matter. I was alone and my blade was sharp like sunlight on the waves.

He came up fast with his head out and I hit him squarely as his sea monster neck came out of the water. His flesh was satin and cold. I reeled him in, hand-over-hand, then slashed. The knife sunk deep and true.

I killed him well.

Everything kills everything else in some way, I thought.

I am the old woman who conquered the bull kelp.

And now I sleep, dreaming about the lions.

Read the full Earthwalk Northwest seaweed foraging story – untainted by Hemingway – in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on August 23, 2007.


  1. Awww ... I don't wanna wait until August 16 ...

  2. No previews, DB, um, mainly because I haven't written it yet...

    I may workshop some bits here, though. Stay tuned.

  3. Anonymous3:33 AM

    FS Hemingway spoof, Ax... Xoxoxoxo. Q.