“The Bolivian Rain Forrest!” I was shouting out to myself and to nobody, my voice drowning. “Truly amazing!” We'd just walked through a cave behind the waterfall and under the flow, a hot jungle and jumble of rainbow sounds and water spray opened up and performed wildly. The crazy jangling water, the steam and the vapour, the intoxicating heat and strange foreign coolness of the droplets hanging in the air before plunging into the chasm below and the crashing ceaseless noise. A dense white thunder pouring and churning, burnishing the life out of the smooth rocks, polishing them into glass, foaming and curling down, down into the deep pools and fast flowing channels that pushed the torrent away. My shirt was soaked, my brow wet with sweat and spray and steam. I looked across at Debbie, her combats dark with the water, she was holding her hat, her rucksack on one shoulder. Her eyes glazed with the wonder of the falls and intense sensory experience of being here, caught up in this rare and unfamiliar place. In this place she was even more lovely, the free wildness and energy framed her in a burst of raw power. Our hands touched and she smiled, we both spoke but the words evaporated in the blast furnace thunder of the falls. We mouthed more superlatives. I turned and looked up into the white haze, drops fell like silver bullets onto my face, I caught some on my tongue as the droplets shattered. From the corner of my eye I say a khaki blur, Debbie was slipping, the surface wet and shiny like a machine room floor. My arm reached out, a blind panic and mad scramble, I was spinning towards her but staying on the spot, not really moving. There seemed to be no time for time. I kept turning but only to see that she was gone. Over the edge. There was a huge white gap in the universe and the waters, well they just kept on tumbling.
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
"One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole barrel" a wise apple and barrel owning man once said around about the end of the season for fresh and wholesome apples. It was a time before transport, food hygiene, sanitation and whispering campaigns sponsored by the twisted media circus. Some other century or so it seemed because it was. Anyway times changed as the clocks stepped forward never backwards but still that clutch of soft fruit stubbornly refused to stay fresh and ripe. Each year they slowly rotted in their barrels and pretty soon despair set in along with seasonal apple famines. It was the worst of times and never the best of times. Then some thunderclouds passed over, lightening struck and evolutionary gearing kicked in, rain splashed into muddy puddles. We invented steam ships and aeroplanes, hot chemicals and market gardens and plastic tunnels and import duties based upon post-colonial economic models in order to service mass markets via supermarkets and then hypermarkets and we irradiated foods with a vengeance. Then we shrink wrapped them in trays shaped like multiple bosoms so as to encourage the sex trade but only discretely. It was the beginning of a long running and spiteful end and still the apples turned out to be bad inside under the healthy looking skin. When I did finally complain I received a nicely worded letter from the customer services department and a discount coupon to use on future purchases.
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
That uncomfortable feeling when hungry cats are watching you eat, some black and white thought processes unleashed in survival mode. Sure of something but unsure of anything. I might have indeed woken up to find myself in the body of a strange large insect, or just asleep and restrained by the over zealous use of commas and colons and other instruments of torture. Culture and kidnapping, treason and fertility, all that had conspired against me in my death sentence. Of course none of those things happened, only the uncomfortable feeling that remains. Those cat's eyes drilling into me and complaining wordlessly with that sense of animal injustice that cant quite be understood by mere humans. Why do I eat while they go hungry? Why do I refuse to share these common scraps with a simple animal? They have padded away for the rich opportunities that I can only imagine.
I have accepted my status and place in the food chain. I shushed and kicked the cats away and they left without complaint. "There are better mice out there" I thought. I think that they also thought that. I reflected on how the cats could squeeze back through the cell's bars and how I, bigger and better fed for the moment could not. For a few seconds I thought I'd have gladly changed places with a cat or even an insect. My own plight was perilous, here in this filthy jail, dark and damp. But then again I have been fed and all my lessons of living life in any given moment seemed to make sense. I applauded my own bizarre circumstance, I denied the cat's their free power over me and I sat back against the stone. All round was a prison's silence, as if all the others had reconciled themselves and quietly remained in deep reflection. No calling out or abuse, no rattles and cries, just a heady gloominess and reserve. It was a dungeon indeed but I was, in this space, at the top of the heap.