Thursday, December 27, 2007

In which the sea is silent

There is light in abundance now, though there have been summer storms.
Entering the sea without a splash, I slip along the sandy bottom, holding onto the corrugations, until I am under and past the rolling swell, all scales shining, deep in the sea.

The sea speaks not.

I listen, and hear only the vague distant clinking of things colliding, the repeated hush, hush hush of waves rolling along the surface.
There is almost complete silence, and it seems at this minute, that it ever has been.

Are you there, I ask.

The sea speaks not.
I hear nothing.

From down here on the sandy floor, I look up towards the sky, with not much more than a sand whiting for company, and even it looks at me in a startled way with one big eye and swims off. The surface billows silver, from down here in the blue, and the sea speaking not a word. So silent. I hold my breath for quite some time.
Air flows from the lacy fronds in my chest, into the flow of my blood: tiny rivers. The quiet continues.

Boats drift across the horizon.

On my return to shore, I turn to see one green wave folding in on itself, the sun flashing through, curling along with its plume of white. I frame it between my two hands, and press it hard into a shape, a concentration of the green, and the light and the salt, and form it into a pointed thing, a shard, like a piece of the universe.
This shard I plunge it into my heart: I lodge it there, where it will be safe. I plunge it there, with all the grace I can summon. I don’t cry, like a child, I hold it there, firmly.
A sharp fragment of green, embedded in my heart. I feel it with each breath.
I will hold it there, ever onward.

I can wait, I tell the sea.

I turn to leave then, my footprints thread the sand , pocked from last nights rain.
At the top of the cliff I look over the horizon where a million silver suns are shining. The stone that seems to have found its way into the palm of my hand travels an arc as I throw it, all the way, into the surface of the silent sea.
The words I say unheard by all but wind and water.

I head up the hill for home

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Carols by Candlelight

The best way to travel around here is by ferry.
We are going to participate in some carolling, on a huge and spectacular scale.
Ordinarily not really somthing I would do, but hey...

there has just been a summer thunderstorm to clear the air,
and a warm breeze blows.

At one point in the journey through the Botanical Gardens, (Royal, no less)
I begin to wonder, where exactly I am, is this my dry hot town?
Rain returns and makes the world green. For a moment I dream I am by the Thames again, at Sion House.

This peculiar sensation continues, even in the presence of the Surly child.
We seem to be in a dream-state. Warm breath rises from the garden beds.

We make camp near the Art gallery. On dusk the thousands of fruit bats lift from their homes in the trees in the Botanical Gardens, and take to the air. They all have a foraging place, some where. Some are on the way to my house for the night, to feast on my banksias.

The moon watches.

Fireworks are sure to clear the air of any bats who have been tardy in getting away...

and even the surly one is softened by Away in the Manger. She sings, she smiles, she manages not to turn anyone into stone with her gaze.
Who'd have thought. It must be Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

december here

The world is full of colour now. Cicadas sing their raucous chorus, Heat rises from the wondrously damp ground: it rains.
The eucalypts are washed, jacaranda and agapanthus shine their violet-blue.

I drive along Barrenjoey road, through Bilgola bends, summer washes over me. The scrub by the side of the road still smells like bright light there.
The light enters me , and shines until my chest hurts.
I am immersed in December: once, it was my favourite time. I feel ambiguous towards it now.Sometimes it breaks my heart completely.

The season for presents: in the spirit of things, I give out trees.
Banksia Spinulosa: even in infancy, their upward reach has such integrity.
All the corporate gifts are trees, I make a comments about "projected growth" on the little cards. The company celebration is by the harbour, on a wharf. The night is sultry. My face is made of glass.
The corporates smile at their little trees.

My mother is ill. She seems the same on the outside, but inside is a potentially explosive thing. She has gone about organising her business, and instructing me what to do with her things. She has given me goggle-eyed Santa, which is older than me, its origins somewhere in Antiquity. I remember goggle-eye santa from when I was a baby, but he wasn't my favourite.

Goggle-eyed Santa now belongs to me.

There will be surgery for the mother, on Tuesday.

She has also given me this snow bauble. inside is a sleigh,deer, snow. It is hanging on my tree, next to goggle eye and the bird. I take care so that none drop onto the floor, which is wooden, and not a surface for colliding with, if you are an antiquated bauble.

Elsewhere is bitterly cold: this is the hot, blue, singing world, here, where I am.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

summer fish, winter fish

December 8th, 2007.
8am, GMT,
7pm, Eastern Summer time.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

indigo sea

It is hot in my studio, storms roll by.
I am using indigo pigment to make pictures:
My hands and face are blue.
I think of flower buds and lighthouses and faraway headlands.

It may just be the indigo in my eyes,
But I feel very much like crying.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I had been thinking that things would be alright, when I ventured forth into the deep.
It rained in sheets, and the sea, dark green, was warm and silky, yet rose and tossed about.

I headed for the northern headland, below, kelp rose from dark places dimly lit.
All Bronze Whalers lay timid and quiet, hidden in even darker clefts, fearing the noise and commotion above.
In the shelter of the cliffs, the water shifted about, more restless than malign.

I thought I passed my love, sitting on a peak of water, feet trailing: I ran a finger along the sole of his foot, he smiled.
Fish bright, I spun into the open sea.

I had been mistaken, the sea was spiteful, and pulled me this way, cackling and shrieking with that familiar pitch: a warning not to take anything for granted. I knew then I was foolish.

Firmly, the water pulled, and when I made to look up to the horizon, dark waves blocked my view.
Oh, the water was soft and warm, but cruel, tried to pull me down, bend my bones, thrust me sideways. Always the sandy bed shifting one way, and then another, shadows in the dim.
Entangled and trapped, nevertheless,
like all good fish, I continued, and all the way, was pulled and tossed. It is dark, in the open sea, the surface spined with silver where the rain drives in, the fresh rain lying on the surface like a blanket.

At the edge I find
the longest piece of seaweed in all the world, torn from the rock garden by the whim of the water. I drag it up, and make a wreath on the sand. An offering.

I know you're there, I call, silently. You are with me always. I will never give up

I walk up the wet sand, and away.
The ocean fills my every space.