Sunday, June 8, 2008

boy about town


late-afternoon
on a sunny-not sunday
i decide to venture to the university pool
that's incidentally settled across the road from my place of wok
at drama school
where i peddle playscripts
for a singleman's salary
i wasn't in the mood for going
knowing that it can be tedious taking all those showers and undressing etc
and the thought of doing my requisite number of laps
40 x 25 metres = 1k
weighs on me as i soberly maze my way through the wet dressing rooms
it's the reward that keeps me interested
..a good 15 or 20 min in the sauna afterward
i haven't been swimming for a while
i plan to go more often particularly in the winter months
where the tepid, highly-chlorinated blue waters of the indoor pool
followed by sauna heatwetness
contrasts delightfully with the coldness outside
i did well
i did my thousand metres
i find i have to keep my concentration going to remember the laps as i'm doing them
i think about driving to Katoomba in the blue mountains west of Sydney
Katoomba is a thousand metres above sea level
so as i do my laps i think of the drive from Penrith in Sydney's outer west
i start my first lap...Penrith, zip m above see level
3 laps, 150 metres, Lapstone
350 metres, Blaxland
500 metres, Springwood, and so forth
and funnily enough it takes as much time to swim these laps as it is to do the drive
i hope to visit soon...

the sauna was terrific
i go in there to dye
to melt
and to breathe in that pungent wet heat
i don't leave when my mind tells me i should be leaving
i only vacate the sauna when my legs stand up and start walking of their own volition
i stayed in there too long today really...
but the beauty is
as i'm walking out of the building and onto the street pavement
toward my humble hyundai
i feel reborn
like i've spent 3 months on holiday
and to top it off
i drive down to Noodle King in Maroubra
and order meself a tofu/vege laksa
as i come to the end of the feast
and i'm drinking up the broth
the fire-breathing ceremonies commence
my mouth and throat numbs with chilli
and my nose becomes embarrasingly runny
yet i lap it up
bow my thank yous
and dart out the dark street
feeling like i've been on yet another holiday
an xtra few minutes in the supermarquette
purchasing rations
floats by cloudlessly
that's how this boy has spent a pleasing sunday afternoon
out of the rain
and into the wet

But it was this morning that I did something truly special
i walked a friend's dog who'd gone away for the weekend
Holly, the golden retriever
now about 3 years old
I looked after Holly for 6 weeks last year
when its owners were overseas
what was an excitable and lively teenager then
has grown into a fine lass of a dog
radiant and beautiful
she could be a show dog
i fed her
watered her drinky bowl
and walked her up and around the streets of Clovelly
as we were winding down Clovelly road
and i could see the ocean ahead of me
i looked down at Holly
wishing I
- and everyone else in the world -
could be this magnificence
be this innocence
I felt great love for Holly at that moment
I wanted to hug her and be her innocence
I did hug her inside my friend's gate
where I left her on her own
waiting alone right now
for mommy and daddy and the kids to come home

Innocence is leaving us
i feel malice and tension on the streets
i'm not fully immune to that
sometimes i feel testy and hurried and impatient
when I'm doin' the shopping centas
i don't like it
so the moment these vapours arise from my stomach
i feel it
calm it
and move on
but...i do sense it around me as waves of vital force
it's a tense city really, sydney
this weekend we had one particular shocking incident
there was a verbal altercation between a female driver, aged 37 from Pymble
and a group of young adults standing outside a party house
a packet of crisps was thrown at the car allegedly
this woman from Pymble, full of liquor and rage
moved her car forward
and suddenly reversed her car into the group
killing a man of 21
hardly more than a boy, really
we can't say what possessed this woman to do this
the immediate, subconscious thought of mine was "you're from Pymble"
"why would you want to do that?"
Pymble resides in Sydney's leafy upper north shore
it's very upperclass and establishment
it's no grimebucket that's for sure
but anger menace malice and all those negativities no-no bounds
it's just that, it gets veneered over more effectively in places like Pymble
the 21-year old boy who got killed was E. Westlake
his father is Nigel
Nigel is a major Australian composer
and a principal Australian clarinettest who was once member of our premier small ensemble
"the Australia ensemble"
I used to see them in 1990/1 at the uni giving concerts
oftentimes I'd usher
not that i was fully into that stuff
it was just par for my course
but it was a good experience
1990/1 feels like yesterday to me
and E. Westlake would have been only 3 or 4 years old in 90/91
in that quick amount of time since then
he made it to 21
and his life ended in one horrible incident
just like that
as if the time he had
was really no time at all

let's make the most of it
let's love each other
let's love our lives
and most of all
let's love our own selves
our own beings
our own purity

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was so saddened when I read this article. I never knew Nigel but of course knew of him - who didn't at New South. Yes Ross, the world is full of rage, anger, hatred - is it because of oil or something else? I personally think it's because of water. I read a book recently called "The hidden messages in water" which completely changed my outlook on life, on my behaviour, what I say to others and what I say to myself. When you think about it, all life came out of the sea and we're 70% water (90% when we come out of the womb). And what's happening to the water on our planet? It's getting abused, disrespected, polluted, basically a bad deal. And of course, it's affecting "our" water too, the one within our bodies. And this in turn affects us - our thoughts, our emotions, our wellbeing. Maybe we should start to respect water and nature in general and the world will be a better place to live in.

Bye, The Knitting Songbird

Ross B said...

Hey Knitting Songbird!

You’re right, water is the other key matter.  Water represents the purity of One, the Unconscious – and of course, civilisation has done its best to f**k that up too!!
Sounds like a great book you mention,
water water everywhere and not a drop to drink! (Coleridge??)
Yes that was very sad about Nigel’s son.
Love & kindness, Ross

Al-Anon

enjoying a bevvy Awakening to the ‘good’ in our lives and to the fulfilling sense of gratitude which follows often comes to us via ...