16/08/2010 § Leave a comment
Salt & pepper. White & black. Orange & blue. Ham & cheese. Birth & death. Cigarettes & drinking coffee. Bread & butter. Most things happen in pairs. When one pulls in a general direction, the other tends to follow, linked like a sterling bit between the corners of a horse’s mouth.
A balance needs to be reached so as not to run in circles. By always choosing one direction — one taste, one colour — we make one side stronger and the other weak because we forget about it. The weaker leg will be cut-off, as it becomes poisonous from gangrene, and it is replaced with a lifeless peg-leg: something to stand on, but nothing like a functioning foot. You can no longer run, but hobble and become cranky-argh!
“Could I get a pair of apples, please?”
“A pear and an apple?”
“No. Just a pair of apples. Wait. Yes. A pear & an apple.”
Sometimes, people will choose a life of solitude in order to never have a deadened foot, or worse, become it. Some of us like alone time and some of us do not. Alone, you are with your mind and, sometimes, it is light, but sometimes it gets dark. Sometimes it is a mixture of white & black. In the shade it creates things — good and bad and in-between and scary to observe. We come up with thoughts, conjure magical thinking, imagine a fantasy, over-analyze idiosyncrasies. Like blankets that solidify into stone, we throw ideas around and watch them pile around us, entombing us in the cool, dark centre. The chisel is our spoken word.
Nietzsche was a solitary man and as a result had a lot of ideas. He chose to write his ideas down, allowing him to share but not receive. Eventually, he went insane. But, he became famous, didn’t he?
Yesterday, despite the dark clouds drifting through the north, we decided to go to the island. The air was like a salty, sticky stew that gelled and tugged at your arm hair, made the flying wisps loosely noose around your neck, made you hold your breath while panting. We chose to head back to the island, the south side, where the land is low and the breeze is high, dark castles in the sky. This time, I got to choose where to go and, trusting the path that crossed the corner of my view, I veered off to the right. “Good choice, my dear.”
The beach was narrow and hardly occupied. At some moments, it was just the two of us. Sail boats scattered the southern vista swishing on top of the indigo water, like fresh fountain pens through ink. We sat underneath a tree using the trunk to cradle our bicycles and nubs of broken branches as hooks for our bags. We used the sand as a bottle holder and arranged our picnic on a palette-esque cutting board. “The gradient of the water is remarkable, with the blues, the greens, the white.” It was remarkable, like something out of a story or a movie or a notebook.
We talked about general things — observations & thoughts & politics & art & people & gossip & the arrival of four ladies with tall cans & the young half-naked couple walking the beach picking up stones — not arguing, but challenging one another: “You’re right,” “You have a point,” “Look at it this way…” Ideas cannot exist until you say them with someone, it travels back & forth on the sterling link giving either side equal pull. Instead of your mind going in circles, it begins to think straight & forward.
A rumble to the right cut the sun out of sight. If I say it, it will be true: “It’ll blow over. It always blows over.” It got dark & the water looked deeper, as though a lid had been placed over our heads. A single bucket-sized drop commenced the fall of crock-pot condensation. We had one rain-jacket to use as our shelter, the hood our awning & eaves trough. The wind shifted sideways blowing shards of rain onto our legs. Lifting the flap, we saw the four girls taking refuge in the water, jumping in the waves, tall cans raised, sharing the moment. The half-naked couple was not within our view.
When the sky cleared & reminded us that it was blue, we threw the jacket off & waded into the water — warm & clear from fresh rain.
If I was alone, I would not have laughed so hard.
The adventure came to a close with bites from red ants & sand that had managed to sift in between our clothes & skin. It was time to go back to our comforts, to jump on our sandy steeds, both our legs pedaling against the grain in our cogs, back home to re-energize & balance.