Monday, June 16, 2008

in which the fish is given back her clothes



On Tuesday I expressed the regret that my top was being danced in by sea-creatures.

"I won that top, in the Mollymook Ocean Swim. This year, I won nothing. You would know, you were there both times" I told the sea.
"And what's worse, both Miss Jane and myself were thrashed out of hand by some Olympic swimmer, which is sort of not fair."

The very next day, up at the northern end of the beach, where the steam rises early in the morning, just before you get to the cliff, there was my Mollymook top, twisted on the tideline. Thoroughly embedded with sand and weed, which made it all the nicer.




"We want this not" said the sea and I smiled. I said thank you.
I looked on the label. It is made out of 100% recycled plastic, which cancels out any notion of aquatic philanthropy. I vowed never to leave such items anywhere near the edge ever again.


I washed it and dried it but it remains, permanently I suspect, interwoven with tiny fronds of seaweed, redbrown and pale cream, they are woven in so tight. I rather like the effect: I am wearing it now.






For the last three days the sea has been in a right temper and waves the size of tall buildings have been thundering in, but I have not wavered, and have entered the sea, temper and all.
It has been utterly terrifying
but wonderful.

16 comments:

jellyhead said...

How incredible that your shirt was returned to you.

Now fifi I know you love the sea, even when it is riled up, but please be careful!!

bluemountainsmary said...

I would not be able to summon the courage to go into king tide waves.

I am not brave enough.

fifi said...

jelly, it was indeed extraordinary, but not.
I am safe in the water, never fear.

Mary, you are brave and poetic both.

rhubarbwhine said...

I grew up in the sea, big waves and crashing surf. But enter it these days, no. I will watch from the shoreline in languid peace.

alice c said...

I find myself thinking of your conversation with the sea at odd moments in the day. And I wonder at the strange beauty of it.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Yes, I do envy you your passion for the sea - it has such power. I am too scared of drowning to swim in the sea. I have a relationship with the sky - but it is more of a talking one, I have not tried jumping off tall buildings to fly.

wonderful that your top was returned to you with bits of the sea forever enshrined in it.

meli said...

rb - try paragliding! i used to walk home from school, glancing sideways at the sky, my shoulders aching from my book-stuffed backpack, and think - 'one day, one day...' i never suspected that day would come - not in some parallel dream world but simply with the aid of a harness and a parachute wing!

i do like the sea, too. don't see it much these days - the fjord doesn't really count...

Isabelle said...

Paragliding. Oh NO!

Swimming in the sea I could do, but not with waves like tall buildings.

How nice that the sea returned your top, though.

fifi said...

hmm, paragliding, the sky, ....the sea and the sky are linked, they can't be separated really. I think swimming is one form of flying, but I would love to do the other. One day I will.


fjords:nice, trapped oceans perhaps. I am applying for a residency in Iceland. (true) I like water in all forms, air, ice. sea, mist. I hope I get it. Though I'm sure my family will be thrilled (not).

rhubarb- why ever not? you would be weightless and happy like me.

yes, I did have a suspicion that top would be returned. I did ask or it back with my best manners.

Regulus said...

Gee, I wish I lived by the ocean like you do ... I grew up, as you know, at the New Jersey shore, but Washington, DC has nothing like that. I need to move, Fifi, and commune with the sea like you do on a daily basis.

Of course, I'd be a little reluctant to go into a sea that was churning so maelstromically (is that a word?), and I don't handle cold water very well. By cold, I mean anything under about 22C/72F.

But I was a little confused as to what article of clothing you lost ... a shirt, a swim cap (top), or your bathing suit top (!) ...?

By the way, what was that black bra doing on the beach away from its owner??

P.S. I've been reading your sea ice contemplative piece and enjoying it very much.

fifi said...

ha, synchronistic!

yes, you must get to the sea. My part of it is rather warm. it goes down to about 14 at the very coldest.

Now, it was my long sleeved top that I actually wear skiing, made of that clever stuff in which you never feel hot or cold, it is a very fine thin knit stuff. Like a long sleeved teeshirt except is a magic thing, fitted, perfect for what I do in it.
So, getting prosaic here, we run all the way along this beach, up to the cliffs and back again. Then we swim. But whereas we like to be kept firm and snug on land, we abandon all corsetry for swimming. we leave the bra-item with the top, and towel and whatever else, and go swimming.

I am glad you are liking that piece, I just emailed you!

jane said...

Hey fiona, did my sunglasses turn up with your top? I lost them in summer when a rogue freshie wave took them and my favourite hat and I had to make a split "sophies choice" type decision...the hat or the sunnies. I chose the hat.But the sea has them out there somewhere. I imagine they'd be encrusted with barnacles by now. Could be quite spectacular really. I'm glad it gave you back your top.

Molly said...

Glad the fishies returned your acquatically unacceptable clothes. Left this comment at SMC's by some goof-up yesterday....must have made her wonder if I'd lost my mind!

meggie said...

Your top returned ~ with interest!

Though I almost drowned in the sea, I have always loved it well.
Not so keen to be upon it, in craft, but to be in it, well, that is another matter.

meli said...

iceland!?! good luck! i hope you get it! i will come to visit you...

little red hen said...

I'm glad your top was returned. I have in recent years developed a yearning to visit iceland too. Maybe when the kids are grown!
I remember my father threatening to take us all to Europe to live on a houseboat for 6 months or more. I was 15 and terrified at the time that it would happen, imagine being trapped on a BOAT with your folks. Now I'm sorry to say it didn't happen.