• Erin Clark

Longing, and the fulfillment of longing.


The Juliette deck is my favourite of all the decks on the property. The overgrown path strewn with rotting, green apples, nestled in an enclave of trees —some dead— is visible from the bunkie deck. So it feels like my personal secret deck. It’s the only deck with a railing in my face, the least decorative and the furthest from the tide. I go there and read and yearn for the rocks.

“Why is it called the Juliette deck?” I ask Catherine.

“partly, thats just a design term. A small balcony is called a Juliette balcony inspired by the balcony Juliette goes to to call Romeo. But also, that place is a longing place, where a longing woman goes to yearn.” I cackled, that’s exactly me and what I do there.

I plot a path down to the pile of rocks I haven’t crawled across yet. The grass is long and dewy and full of cobwebs I don’t want to stick my hands in as I crawl face first, not knowing if it’s soft all the way down or not.

“I need adventure pants!” I say yearnfully. “Something that can take a sharp edge, some scraping across rough surfaces, maybe even a bit of padding for comfort.”

We brainstorm. And I keep going to my ocean balcony and calling for Romeo.

Richard comes on Thursday’s. He fixes things, gathers things, weed whacks, etc. Im sitting on the upper deck of the main house and he hands me a pair of thick canvas pants. “Will these work?”

They smell faintly of incense, and fit exactly. And have knee pockets I can stuff sheep skin in for padding.

“I just got these at the hardware store,” Richard says, but I’m convinced that the exactly-fitting-me-and-smelling-nicely-pants are direct from the yearning place.

The rocks also have pockets that are like a cradle warmed by sun, I nap like the seals do, then fill my pockets with raw quartz chunks.

Catherine and Patricia have spent several decades creating beautiful, disability-friendly access, with an ethos of getting as close to the edge as possible. And my secret yearning spot always seems to me like a good place to push. So I ask, “why didn’t you build out further in that spot?”

“I felt it needed to stay intimate. To be a place of longing, yearning, searching —or the fulfillment of those longings.”

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