Rocky Island, Apostles – August 25, 2012
“Rock shouldn’t do this,” I think.
Arches, doorways, pillars, and windows break what should be solid stone and open it up to swallow me whole. On the edge, where I can still reach the outside world with a few strokes, the water glows blue-green from sunlight spilling through hidden windows beneath the surface. The rock is smooth sandstone, wrapping around me in a hundred shades of red, orange, and brown. Another few feet and everything turns dark. The water becomes black as night and the rock dulls to grey as I sink deeper into the maze of arches and tunnels riddling the island. My eyes adjust and all I see are dimly lit walls breaking for light-filled doorways that burn in the darkness.
The air is still and cold. Sounds echo. I feel the weight of rock above me. Thinking of it makes it hard to breathe, like it’s sitting on my chest. Out of the doorways, I can see Superior stretching to the horizon. It looks like it reaches to the end of the world.
I slide under arches, from one room to the next, through tunnels barely taller than my head and doorways you could drive a bus through. I stare at slender pillars, ease under slabs of rock, sink a hundred feet deep into caves. It’s what the world would look like pulled from an artist’s imagination.
None of it feels real, but it is and the world is unexpected again.