YK Hong’s 365 Release: Day 338

I love new york city beaches. They are certainly not my favorite, having been to beaches all over the world. But it’s possible to go to the beach every single day for less than $5 and dip in the Atlantic. Albeit I can’t see my feet, sometimes things are in the water that shouldn’t be, and occasionally it smells rancid. I don’t mind any of this too much, I am simply happy there are beaches a short ride away. I feel one day in the future, we will have polluted the waters so extensively, no one will be able to swim in the ocean anymore. One day the pollution in the atmosphere will be so harmful, no one will be able to even go out into the sun anymore. One day. For the moment, I am enjoying the ocean as frequently as possible, sometimes 4-5 times a week. I’m a Cancerian and the ocean is my source.

Over a decade ago, I picked up a piece of choral from a beach in Hawai’i. It was pristinely white and straight, like a short pencil. It was beautiful so I put it in my bag and brought it home. It’s been sitting in a vase, with other rocks, keeping my one bamboo shoot company (there used to be several bamboo shoots, but I can’t take care of things that can’t take care of themselves, so plants are not my forté).

Many years after that trip, I was in Michigan, at one of its great lakes with a friend who was involved in local environmental justice work. I picked up a shell and she said I should leave it there because the shells become the sand, and the water processes the shells on its own. That it was all a part of the larger picture of the water and the land. That thought had never crossed my mind, ever, and I remember checking myself in that moment. I was somehow, even in the most minute way, detracting from the very water I love.

I haven’t picked up a shell or rock at any beach around the world since that day. But I still have that piece of choral. I’ve held onto it simply because it has served as a momento, has decorated my vase, and because it’s so tiny I never would have thought about getting rid of it. Yet this 365 Release practice is about intentionality, and being deliberate about letting go. So on Day 338 of my 365 Release practice of non-attachment, letting go and change, I am giving the choral back to the ocean.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

One response to “YK Hong’s 365 Release: Day 338”

  1. […] Day 338 (8/11/11): choral [forgetfulness] […]

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