Saturday, January 29, 2011

As I continue to write of my Dear Old Dad's progress and his Lazarus like revivals I've had the odd contact come through from fellow travelers in life, the sea and the ether, just to say hi, I hear you, I've been there or are there myself.

Patch dropped by the other day, and just last week a new voice said hello, her name familiar through her occasional contributions to Kurungabaa, and because, as a name, she has one that is pretty unforgettable.

Rebecca Olive is a twenty something who I'd be proud to know. Her blog, Making Friends with The Neighbours, is a new discovery to me, a gentle voice of a life being very well lived... in all the best ways.

Of course this is an assumption on my part, but looking through its pages I get the feeling her friends are fortunate people.

She writes in an enviably easy stroll, and, as you'll see from "Endless" below, she understands that with beauty comes terror, to vaguely paraphrase a national mythic poem, and that we all dance on a thin edge, making our dance all the more glorious.

... by Rebecca Olive

I have grown

on sands,

soft and white;

in waters,

blue and warm.

I have grown

on the coast

by the sea,

safe and sound

and quiet.

It is my place

to play and laugh,

to sit and think,

to love and mourn.

It is the place

that offers me comfort.

I have never felt fear there.

I have never wailed,

nor felt the sting of

of its thieving violence.

I have never

been asked to know

the ocean when

it plays

so black and blue,

so sharp and hard

so callous.

So oceanic.

I have never

been asked to pay

for my passage,

for my escape.

For me

the water is;









A beginning.

An embrace.

I have never faced

the ocean as

a barrier;









An ending.

A drowning.

It has never

offered me so much

yet taken

so much more away.

It has never lied to me

(The fiend!)

The sand,

white beneath my feet,

has always offered

a path home.

My heart can

barely bring itself

to imagine

the rocks,


broken boats,


loss and

floating bodies,

as part of the same

Australian coastal

vision and embrace.


The pic: Our Little Devil, displaying that casual familiarity a lot of kids display if they grow up in close proximity with the deep blue. One fin, snorkel, who needs it?... a lungful of air and a black ocean behind.


The Good Wifehold said...

Thank you Mick. I've been keeping an eye on your blog for a little while now; I came across it when I was doing some research on surfing (knowing nothing about it myself - I was looking for something on mythic breaks and localism) and now find myself returning every so often when the feeling takes me.

I enjoy your poignant prose, photos, musings about life and growing old and especially about Australia and the sea; it makes me a bit homesick and nostalgic. I'm sorry to hear about your dad and thank you for posting this poem by Rebecca - it's quite beautiful.


Jason said...

Hey Mick - great poem, great pic. Been a while since I popped in; hope you guys aren't affected by that big storm. Stay safe, mate!