Sunday, September 9, 2007

in which the fish is granted a wish

The sea was attempting to heave itself up the beach by the elbows, having no luck, falling flat down. Over and over.

That is a frightful smell, I remarked,
you have outdone yourself.

The shore is draped in an endless mass of washed up bluebottles which fill the air with a shrieking stench.

In a gesture of resignation, the next wave crawled up and grappled with the shore before losing its grip. Vast tracts of bluebottles, rafts of bodies opaque, sacs sky blue from the rain on the dark sand. The scent not sky blue at all, but a red rimmed cloud of brown.

“You can have your wings, fish” hissed the ocean.

I stopped.

“You can have your wings. Just show me how you swim today, fish, if you want so much to cross my horizon, show me today how you fly .”

So I launched myself into the sea, it seemed a layer of ice was on the top, and I glanced around for blue bubbles in the foam, but kept my resolve. They won’t touch me, I thought. Not today, or ever. I will always manage to slip between.

Rain flew down in mauve columns and sizzled the surface, but I swam on in the wildness, past the point where there was ever any doubt that I would do this, and would always do this, over the stingrays abed with their golden cat eyes, between the vile electric tails of inky blue dangling in the sea, under the roaring torrents which curled over in fists to thump the sandy bed.

The sea concedes: For a minute there is hush, and I notice she wears her shark-nets again. Dangling and empty as yet.

Go, then, she says.

And the fish prepares to fly over the far, far horizon,
over the dark dark sea.


Isabelle said...

I love your image of the sea trying to heave itself up on to the beach by its elbows.

Also the hands in the previous post - how clever.

What are we wearing? Today I'm wearing a skirt, blouse with sleeveless t-shirt underneath because the shirt's a bit see-through, bare legs. And we sat outside having coffee in the garden of friends this morning and weren't cold. But it was quite windy and cloudy. Last week was warm and sunny, but next week it could be quite chilly. This is Britain: the weather is unpredictable. Bring a variety of clothes when you come in October, but it won't be warm. You'll need a jacket!

Not sure why the washing basket was there in that picture, but I dokeep ironing that's waiting to be done in the cupboard beside it, so possibly had indeed just put washing away. Or I may have been attempting to block the archway to discourage Sirius. It couldn't just have been because I was being a bit messy. Ahem.

Isabelle said...

Dokeep - interesting word. Sorry.

jellyhead said...

You are fearless fifi. Swimming in the cold, in those waves, with the bluebottles.

Whereas I went to the water this weekend but merely dipped my toes in and wandered collecting shells. I am not worthy!!

Molly said...

I shivered as I read. You are indeed a fearless one! I'd be watching over my shoulder for those stingrays....It's always a treat to see your photos. And a painting as well---lovely!

meggie said...

I love your sea pictures! I couldn't bring myself to risk jellyfish. Or the cold!
Lovely fish.

Arcturus said...

You are amazing, you truly are, in a very good way.

One thing confused me about the top picture: why is the sky so bright white above the low bank of blue-gray clouds? And is that a person in the water way out by that strange fence-like post in the surf?

it's the little things... said...

You make me miss the ocean so much because of your talent in writing about it. :)

meli said...


meli said...

ps. the weather is really nice over here at the moment...

Arcturus said...

Hi Fifi,

I got ahead of myself in a my comment reply to your comment in my current entry, and I cut myself off in what I was saying about ocean baths.

What I was saying is, yes, please do post some more pictures of those ocean baths. I just don't have any frame of reference for them. We do not have them in the States.

I'm wondering, for instance, does that particular one dry out at low tide -- is it just a concrete-lined, sandy stretch of beach elevated above the surf itself?

fifi said...

Thank You Isabelle for that!

Jelly, truth be known I have stingray skin, old and hard and I don't feel a thing.

meggie, winter blueys dont have too much of a sting.

Arc, its a winter sky, just as the sun is coming up.
Little: your'e toooo kind

meli, I am glad about the weather. Its just got HOT here. I'm right out of winter mode now...

arc, shall do you a little photo essay when I get a minute.