Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bombie and the Beast #2

Full moon eclipses, wild storms and transits can make for strange times for some people. But just before all that excitement, something happened to me, or maybe I happened to something and I've spent the last few weeks trying to work out how to situate this experience. To work out anything freaky, I usually have to write it down. So I'm writing it down.

I walked along a wide, white beach east of here. The place was zinging with oxygenated energy from the wild sea. Above the beach was the shack to dream about; rusting corrugated iron walls and a hessian sack for a door, a veranda that looks out to a magnificent sea and the place is so wild and lonesome that you never want to leave.

The swell was huge but the sea was a bright and friendly turquoise.
I reached the end of the beach and climbed across one of those sloping walls of granite that characterises this part of the country. The granite outcrops make gate posts for all of the curving, pristine beaches on the south coast.
It was here that everything changed ... and the sea suddenly turned.

I always find this dark nastiness absolutely thrilling. It's like a Dirty Three dirge or a good Cormac McCarthy novel. It's not a need for morbid entertainment. It's something about the ripping yarn and the pathos inside all that blackness. So there I was, standing on the wet, black rocks, doodling about with my mobile phone, taking photos of the bombies.
Old Salt always tells me, "Remember that the waves will go right up to the vegetation. Anything below that is the danger zone."

The wave loomed up just as I'd turned my back to the sea. (Again. Yep.) I caught the flash of white foam. I didn't even turn to look. I just started running. For some reason I'd been feeling a bit fragile in my body that day but adrenaline is a very cool thing to have cranking through your blood when you think you are gonna die. I ran over the rocks laughing and terrified and sat up where the petty spurge and succulents grew around the rocks. From my roost I watched the water crashing in gigantic, messy spumes, sucking back over the granite and straining through barnacle teeth, through churning channels of kelp and galloping back to the bombies.

It took a little while for the ramifications to sink in. I sat there, grew more and more appalled at myself with every wave I watched. It's my Mum's birthday. I've got two kids. I've grown up here. I should know better. I knew folk who have been taken by the sea, trying to catch a salmon off the rocks, playing chicken down at the Natural Bridge, gone off The Gap.

That night, I loaded my photographs onto the computer and the image below puzzled me. I couldn't remember taking it. Then I looked at the photos on either side. Shit.
It's one of the spookiest pictures I've ever taken. That's me ... running.


  1. This is sounding so familiar, which I hope reassures you that all is as it should be. There's too muc to say to you here, but you have followed enough of my journey to know I know what you are talking about and experiencing.
    It will keep on operating in your psyche. It's meant to - have faith.

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  3. No, I know I'm not going crazy MF, but I also know that this experience is still working on me and probably will for some time yet! A few days ago, I thought to myself that I actually quite like who I am, despite my foibles. Thanks for your faith and comments.

  4. Great post and I knew Michelle would be on to that in a flash! Love that last very mysterious image that any any other circumstance one might have chosen to discard! We like who you are too but I know that is not the same as ourselves suddenly coming to realise that we like who we are. It just takes a little while to actually gain enough understanding of who and what we might be to conclude anything on the matter at all!

  5. Yes, I have been working with my version of this 'image' for quite a while. In fact, the latest version is a revisiting of something that's been with me all my life, but this time I really had to deal with it. And yes again, it's important what you say about accepting yourself, foibles and all.

  6. Naughty Toa! I've got a few pictures of my feet that I don't remember taking too.

    1. Bad Toa indeed ... or just rather silly and distracted maybe.