On Easter Sunday, after the funeral, Morgan borrowed the truck and went out through the jungle to the northeastern end of the island, to swim at Arch Cove. After stopping to hear the end of “See The Sky About To Rain” by the Byrds, he swam across the cove, imagining there were sharks beneath him, sharks he’d seen in his dream. He was off balance and upset, broken. On the other side he climbed out of the water at the base of the arch. He pulled himself slowly out of the water then walked beneath it. And there, sitting on its natural shelf, sat the little clay menehune. He saw how its once pleasant face had turned elfish. It seemed to mock him. He picked it up and threw it in the water. He felt relieved and guilty at the same time. He breathed deeply to swallow the guilt and exhaled with equal force hoping to gain a sense of release. He sat down, looking East and recited Tennyson to himself:
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin
fades Forever and forever when I move… *
thinking… Tennyson… rainbows… pots of gold… stand still… butterflies… Psalm.
He thought of Psalm as a bird flew over the arch.
It was a kind of bird he’d never seen before. And after asking several people if they knew anything about it he realized no one else had ever seen the bird he described. It seemed to him to be a creature from the past, ancient, strange. He couldn’t figure why it was there or what it wanted, or maybe, it was he who wanted something from it.
* from Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson