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."
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.