the sea dog

i’m still running. and perhaps with more ease and a little more grace than i was a year ago. i’m not writing with any more ease, however, though things have been printed, bound and marked. submitted and rejected or accepted. i’ve been running for a couple of decades and only now can i say “perhaps with more ease”. i think i’ve been writing longer than i’ve been running. i’ve certainly been reading since i could walk. the other side of writing. i wonder whether this blog is about running or writing. both, neither. i think it’s supposed to be a feedback loop. i run into writing and i write into running. today’s post is about walking. but the walking did provide me with words. i walked right into this post. i had already run, prior to walking. 9 km with beverley. she has a just-stitches-out cut on her leg, i have tenderly exfoliated undersides of feet and tight calves. running in shoes makes you soft.

and so.

[today’s photograph] from last to first: mum singing “hey babe, take a walk on the wild side, and the coloured girls go…” as we take the coast road to a coffee or a walk. i wonder what sense she makes of joey and holly and candy. “doo do doo do doo do dododo”. fog wraps around fan rock, soft billowy arms embracing the fractured cliff face, a flowing skirt, a train, winding among the moored boats. lacy. the nature reserve. step up, step down, step, step step. dappled light camouflaging the topographical features my mum can only barely decipher through degenerated macula, though a small nimbus of perfection exists on a periphery. is that a boat on the water? yes. map the walk out loud so she doesn’t fall. step up, step down, step, step step. iron pot to the north. stop here, look for turtles, tell mum about the colour of the water, the clarity, tell her how the sea melts into the sky at the horizon line, disappears, flattens perspective. rocky steps remind me of dad. we talk about this. about an aging man about aging men. next lookout to the south, a deck slung out over a vertiginous cliff face. to the south, creek rock. you can almost walk there at low tide you know. we waked to mother macgregor, fiona and i, once, at low tide. she says. the sea grasses all flattened. dugong. between us and keppel a sea fog, hunkered down, hugging the top of the water, rolling, roiling, a live thing, caught between temperatures, not flying away towards the sun and burning into blue. wind puffs its chest and suddenly the sea fog is racing across the water towards us, hits the bluff and rises up over the weathered headland and down the other side to settle in a bowl there. moving fast, cleaving tight to the grassy slopes but not shivering the stalks as it goes. we stand and watch. or feel. the quality of light has changed. the breeze has chilled. she knows the change through her body. climb, climb. a mother and her daughter are on the seat at the top. oh such a pity about the view isn’t it? well, no, i love this. but she’s chattering, i glottal stop mid-dramatic explication of beauty. can’t understand how she’s missed this brumous drama. we stand for a while inside this entity. the multiple misty animal. tendrils touch us. want to keep going? ok. step up, step down. step step step, step. it crouched just offshore for hours, making occasional blustery forays onto land. dense patches of whiteout. looking out the window now it’s been sacrificed to the sun, and the horizon cuts a sharp dash across blues.

 

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