Emma Frances

Diary of a Piece of Driftwood

A piece of driftwood was floating between two rocks in a pool formed by the tide.

I wanted it.

My dad fished it out of the water.

He said that it wasn’t a particularly attractive piece of driftwood.

I liked the rusty nails hanging from it and the stripes formed by glue from broken joints.

I was drawn to the features which implied that it had once been a part of something else.

There were holes that looked like woodworm. I wondered whether the wood had acquired them before or after it had begun its life at sea.



I allowed anthropomorphism to take hold.

I wondered where the driftwood had been, how far it had travelled, what it had seen on its journey.

I decided that I would release it back into the ocean, and I would attempt to track it; not with a satellite tracking device, but by writing a message and hoping.

In their experiments, driftologists recover around 5% of the items they release into the ocean.

There is a very small chance that anyone will ever find this piece of driftwood in a readable condition.

This would make it all the more wonderful if anyone ever did.



I threw the driftwood back into the sea off Trevose Head (Cornwall, UK) on 15th April 2012.

On the wood I have written a message asking whoever finds it to let me know when and where, so that I can document its journey.


The wood is once again at the mercy of the ocean.


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