A Stone’s Throw: 1996


6:00 AM at Camp Neyati is slate gray, wet – time for me to be at work making eggs and biscuits, setting up trays for campers. I haven’t slept, crept down here sliding on pine needles to the edge of the lake where I once saw an otter turn underwater flips cracking muscles. As a little girl I dug my arm into this mud and pulled out crawdads big as lobsters.

The green flash of sun in the bream scales, the black eye, the worm, the hook, and all the fear missing, that’s what I come here looking for, hangover at the waters edge.

Behind me, the Jesus graffiti on the cinder block basement walls. The mayflies heave. Blackbirds crackle in the Sweet Gum. Swings creak. There is no stillness, but I know.

I’m poisoned, and I know I’m not alone. I throw a stone at Him, and then I go in.

photo credit

amberhaines
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10 Comments

Rambling Heather
Reply November 1, 2011

I love the way that you piece words together. They draw me in. I hope that you have a wonderful November!

    Amber
    Reply November 2, 2011

    You, too, Heather! Thank you.

kendal
Reply November 1, 2011

dang, amber. throwing stones. yes. how many have i cast, with pride so thik, hoping to expel the poison?

    Amber
    Reply November 2, 2011

    Expel the poison? Yes, I think so, Kendal. I tried so many different ways.

Amanda
Reply November 2, 2011

This is totally off topic, but...
I hope someday I can meet you. Back when you announced you were pregnant with little Titus, I was away from my husband (I was visiting the home state), anyway I was so excited for you all and telling him about you, Seth, & your family, and he was so confused as to who I was talking about (I tend to confuse him like that). The main point to all of this rambling is to this day I still remember telling him that you were my internet sister I had found while looking for Jack Kerouac pictures and how you had one of my favorite quotes on your page, so it caught my eye and I haven't been able to look away since.
Sorry for rambling and possibly sounding quite freaky and stalker-like, believe me that's not my intentions at all.

    Amber
    Reply November 2, 2011

    Amanda, this blog world is so insane. I promise that the few blogs I read have made me feel like I have best friends that don't even know me! So weird. I think we CAN be closer in spirit to the people we read than to the people sitting right next to us. There's danger in that, and there can also be such a sweetness in it, too.

    I hope we get to meet!

Sharon O
Reply November 2, 2011

I could see the otter turn over in the water and crack little waves as it swimmed away. The eggs and biscuits sounds wonderful especially in a camp type setting. Good writing.

Addie Zierman
Reply November 2, 2011

The most beautiful words in my inbox today. Thank you!

Laura
Reply November 2, 2011

I go to church with your sweet sister, Erin. I absolutely LOVE your blog and can't wait to read everyday! I, too, experienced Camp Ney-A-Ti and it's nice to hear from your perspective. Thanks so much for the reality of your posts and the truth that you expose with every one! Always and forever an avid follower!! Laura

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