That’d be my memory there.
Spread out as a mist in the breeze.
And in the murk other people waft and circle.
That’s what I recognize, and used to see anyway.
Who would have thought. All the material construction that brought about the end of the world, us as super predator could first save a life.
Its the clinging nature of our greed, my lazy and forgetful nature.
How could I forget. I often ask the people that matter most to me if they’ve ever written a message in a bottle. And the answers vary.
I stick to the message. It can sicken them, polluting their minds like the bottle that floats shamelessly through the ocean currents.
Thermohaline “motherliness”, my veins. Ripple and pulse as your spirit erodes.
As I rode home after an enormous day of exertion I contributed waste.
I felt unseemly. Sick and tired, raw and pained.
A half finished bottle of water, so much more to give. I’d run six kilmeters, mostly down hill. Sponsored by Hartz. I’d then been fighting, shadow boxing, kicking with absolute focus. Doing something, keeping busy. Moving, giving back as much energy I had borrowed from the universe.
I pulsed, I ached. My eyes squinted against the midday sun and I wondered at the lateness of the day.
There was a bump as I went over a pot-hold in the road. I was lucky to avoid a snakebite in my tire for its lack of suspension and the surprise that took me.
There was a small thud, my bottle, my Hartz, half filled dropped to the gutter.
It was a hot day, I was in the awkward position of meeting head on traffic with no time to turn.
I left the bottle, and crossed to safely thinking of the currents, pollution and the half hartz that had escaped me. And unfinished journey.
That night I dreamt of the being alone, and I thought nothing of it as I recorded it in my diary the very next morning.
And I didn’t think.
It was all going to be connected by the currents.
And the layers.
And all the wings.
Touching all the far shores.
And no matter where I journeyed that which separated me from what I knew to be true, was far less than what connected us and made us all the same without homogenizing.
A hear passed, I was present more that I had been in years. I gave so much freely.
There was danger in the alley ways and I’d taken the advice of my father to only call one person friend and she was elsewhere with her husband. Wisely choose, always wear sunscreen. Follow the summer. Meditate when you feel. What it means to be alive, meaningful(ness) is different to everyone. If you wish to deconstruct, so be it. If you wish to complicate and enshroud yourself in meaning that you and everyone else must unravel your failure is a shroud that you will wear as a coat for winter, a veil for weddings and cask for funerals. And the words of thanks, and all that people think will be mist.
The sun will rise, the stars will wobble and Africa can continue its movement north-east towards the european tectonics. And this is where I was to recognize something special. Irrefutable, repeatable and strange.
I was there, stranded of the east coast, stranded on a deserted beach of Zanzibar, dreaming of elephants in ballet slippers and giraffes flying around in handgliders when the most strange thing was to happen and it was witnessed by all the dead, so i’ll let them tell it.
He was there, I recognize that now: my son was sitting there. He did a sand angel. Angel that he was, was what he needed also. Because he was stranded. Clinging to a hatbox from the 70’s. Circular and lines with purple satin. By Jove he was lucky to have not packed heavy books, and it remained airtight. This was after my death, but before the collapse of it all. He was travelling, running I presume – like always.
As far back as I can recall in his teenage years he ran.
Such a wonderfully angry young man. He wore a rose in his lapel and used the horned stalks of the rose as cufflinks. The barbs of his lifetime are what held him together. Prickly reminders from time to time that milked and let blood-let.
He wore a hat, no crown of briars or leaves. Simple and dark, more a cap that reviled him from the posturing minds and eyes of other simpletons. He covered his wavy hair and shaded his nose, sometimes using such a thing as a fan. He was modest, he was laying, dreaming and I floated about him like the cool breeze of the Indian ocean. Where the currents would intermingle. Gales would storm, blowing and raging as abrupt as a sneeze brought on from looking at the sun. Palm trees would bend to breaking point, and the currents would circle. redoubling, back upon themselves, crossing and shifting. Melting, mingling and saturating.
The coast was warm, but the channels and currents ran deep and powerful as arteries that course through the pumping legs of a sprinter.
Great arteries in action, the cadence that smashes into indonesian coasts, ice cold bolts from a malign and mindlessly spinning sphere; scattering islands in a road of waves. To surface, feel the damage and warm. Stagnate and flow back towards Zanzibar, which is where he lay. In my etherous mind -even now he lay.
And in his smiling daydream, a wave washed ashore a bottle. His heart lifted as something clunked against his heel. Refreshing water, and something more than a memory. Hope poked a thump. Nuzzling a bobbling question.
His eyes oped a sliver, to glisten silver in the Zanzibar sun. Tanzania across an impassible channel, where hot sand glowed white hot and water baked and washed itself in waves to keep warm.
The bottle presented itself. And the circus of his mind gathered itself. Blinking twice and sneezing he sat up and rubbed his sore shin. Looking at the bottle he wondered.
Picking it up, he wondered. A precious tear, a Tasmanian pearl, so far from home blinked to his peter pan fashioned trousers. His feet were baked prunes and his hair a mass of curls that threatedned to grown around the meger looking cap.
A sigh escaped his slightly parted lips, revealing teeth that suited his big mouth and straighly lined lips. He shook himself gently.
Did he pray? I don’t think so, as I remember him, I don’t think he prayed.
He rubbed his hands, and touched the bottle to his chin in thought, thoughts of animals forgotten. It would have been normal for him to begin sobbing.
It would have been so normal.