Tuesday, March 31, 2009

in which the fish swims in the dark







In the dark autumn morning, there is only starlight:
high on the rockface I see a disembodied face glow blue, move about and disappear. A flickering ghost, up on the cliff.

But no, it is the boy who climbs there very day before dawn. I see in the velvety dark monochrome the pale sharp angle of his bare legs, as he sits with his knees to his chin
in a cleft in the rock above me.

Below him I tread, arms out, trustingly through the dark surf, feeling my way with my feet so slowly.

I wonder what the boy is doing, gazing out to sea each day in the dark?
Perhaps he is thinking of a love far away, separated yet connected by the ocean between them.
He flicks open his phone and I see his face light up blue again, briefly before he disappears.

He must be watching me tread blindly through the waves at the bottom of the cliff.





There is no light on the rock platform, none at all, just the great dark shapes and the pale invisible glow of the water: I launch myself so silently horizontal across the surface of the rockpool. The clouds of phosphorescence which burst from my moving hands in the blackness
mirror the clouds of stars in the sky.




I move across the water, and look at the vague shapes below, my feet remaining level with my head: I wish not to tread upon the fat soft octopus who lives here,
the blackfish still asleep in their holes. I look at the stars.






I dream along with the boy and our combined thoughts tangle across the surface of the water: go, I say to my dreams: go!
Speak of love, all along that dark horizon, and even further still.




16 comments:

Molly said...

Once again you've left me speechless. Well, almost. That was beautiful! And you are brave. That, or very, very much at home in the waters where you swim......Or both.

Luhlahh said...

I'm thinking about the sea so much lately... salty and sandy and rhythmic... Lou

Regulus said...

I was wondering where you were.

Also, I'm not sure I like the idea of you swimming around in the ocean in the darkness. I'm assuming that was at the crack of dawn rather than the last fading light of day, since the ocean is to your east ...

Finally, I wonder (in the third picture) what bright star or planet that was low in the east (possibly Venus).

Eleanor said...

I can't decide what is more wonderful....your swim in the dark ocean, or the fact that you share it with us all through your words and photographs.

Thanks fifi!!!

Spruce Hill said...

What a wonderful thing to do in the dark!

little red hen said...

I love all those deep dark blues...very beautiful,I love the grainy, dreamy quality of the last photo, your toes er, um...fins are very cute too!

Reluctant Blogger said...

I don't like the idea of swimming in the sea much until I come here - you make it sound all velvetty and inviting. But I know it is not - not for me!

I am coming to Sydney. Am hoping you might be there. Would love to have dinner. Sandra will look after my boys. It would be good? I am there for a week from 16 April.

I must email you but I am so restless I can't seem to do emails - but I will.

Kirti said...

you are brave fifi. Swimming in the dark was always thrilling and spooky; the thought of lurking things in the deep....

Any calm I feel is due to this man and his teachings www.dzogchen.org.au

Just had a peruse through some of your Flicker photos. Good to see your lovely face!

rita said...

Swimming in the dark is awesome. I've done it lots, not in the ocean but in rivers. In the summer when the water is warm & the stars are out, well it can't be beat. :)

the projectivist said...

so beautiful, Fifi!
it makes me want to lift up my long, flowing skirts, feel the wind in my hair as i make a dash for the sea.

i would do EXACTLY that if i wore long flowing skirts and wasn't afraid of being swallowed whole by either a shark or a sea monster.

Isabelle said...

Oh no, however beautifully you describe it (and you do) I could never swim in the sea in the dark. Fish (or worse) nibbling at one's toes! Argh. Very very scary.

But I'm sure you enjoyed it, being a much much braver person than I.

Pam said...

I'd find it a bit spooky Fifi, but you make it sound eerily wonderful. A beautifully written piece. I have mentioned your blog on my post with a link.Hope that's O.K. I enjoyed so much your previous post regarding your students,and look forward to your outlook on things each time I visit here.

meggie said...

You gave me shivers!

Jellyhead said...

fifi, I read this when you first posted, but was in a subdued and quiet mood. I thought this was breathtaking when I read it, and I still do now. The mysterious boy out at dawn, you swimming in blackness .... so frighteningly beautiful.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter fifi.

Pod said...

hello!
i am reading a book called the sea the sea and it makes me think of thee

eurolush said...

Your solitary, pre-dawn ocean swim sounds incredibly peaceful and completely magical.

How wonderful that we all get to live vicariously through your posts.

Loved the photos--the light is amazing. (As are your toes!) How do you take them? Do you have a waterproof camera?