Mary Rothlisberger Palouse, Washington


A storm anchor steadies a boat in severe weather, not by anchoring to a seabed but by clinging to the waves. Drag, drift, doubt, drench, dream, drowse, drogue. When an island inhales, so does a shoreline exhale, tide and tide again. I made myself into a storm anchor, steady on the waves, swam out into the fog and stood still on an island until the tide took the ground from under me. A chunk of rock recognized as sentient; the barnacles once sleeping now all open-mouthed to the ocean. The precise moment when everything you were standing on becomes the sea and suddenly you are swimming and Sarah is swimming next to you and you are very nearly almost home.

Mary Rothlisberger is a thinker, writer, conversationalist, and relationalist situated in the inland West. Her work explores universal issues of relating to one another by sincerely engaging in site-specific action and encouraging an adventurous collective spirit. She loves small towns, long winters, optimists, parades, and talking about feelings.