In Australia it is winter, but we’ve a mild winter in thenorth where I am… Warm enough that I dressed in black leggings, a light blacklong sleeved top, a light black hoodedjumper and was not cold… I was soexcited to be outside again, in the sun, out in the open. I grew up in a spectacularpart of the world… A place full of natural phenomena, of tropical rainforests,sheathed in ethereal mists; of dry, crackling bushland… Mountains so aged, soweathered that they are barely recognisable as forming what was once thelargest volcano in the southern hemisphere… All the glory of millennia paststill show in their shape: odd, rounded, rarely sharp… These rocks hold part ofmy soul within them… That sounds ridiculous, no doubt, but the longer I stayaway the more they haunt my dreams.
I was not made for super-modern cities…
I am here in Brisbane, and here to stay at least for thenext few years while I complete my tertiary education. More importantly, I’mnear the water (whose pull is almost as strong as the mountains’). Today I ameven on the water!
I hope you get someidea of how excited I was *laughs * It feels silly to write so much about it…but this is something I want to get down so that I can come back to it, youknow? Something to remind myself of this afternoon…
So… full of beans, I bounced down to the river, taking theless travelled road* I headed for the little ferry that crosses over to NewfarmPark. In the four years I’ve lived in Brisbane I’ve never caught the ferry…Bizarre, I know, but most people tend to catch the City Cats – big fastCatamarans that fly people up and down the river. Turns out the ferry was agood idea. There was no one onboard save the ferryman and I… Spectacularlyquaint, we bobbed our way over the river, enjoying the brightly colouredfinches that danced around the boat, ducking and weaving, soaring and gliding…Birds are just gorgeous, aren’t they? There’s something about the way smallerbirds move that I just adore, really… Their relationship with the wind, the ebband flow of breezes, is one I envy. Imagine being able to glide on warm aircurrents! Imagine!
The ferry soon deposited me on the north riverbank and afterwaving a cheery goodbye to the ferryman I trotted along the walkway, headingdown river around Newfarm Park where the enormous Moreton Bay fig treesreassure me that Brisbane is older than she looks… There are beautiful oldredbrick industrial buildings that date from the 1920s, when Port Brisbane wasa busy stop in the trade route, so I keep walking, hoping to see them up closefor the first time.
Along the way I pass bright and colourful gardens, balconiesof little apartments dripping with vines, flowers, mini-vegetable gardens andseedlings in pots. I’m glad to see that the wealthy in Brisbane love plants asmuch as I do… it makes the eye-sore of bourgeois waterfront living easier tobear. Across the river it’s completely different… I guess the real wealth is onthe south/east side of the river… Less apartments and instead there are hugewaterfront mansions… All the houses are different, which is great. I’m glad tosee that some of the original architecture of Queensland is maintained even asthe modernist white boxes multiply. Having said that, the white boxes areindeed beautiful… in their own way! I know though, that if I were living on thewater, I would make sure the windows were tinted, or had some kind of permanentreflective quality… Being nude and rude with the water below would be so muchfun! I have to confess that there have been nights coming home on the Cat whenI’ve looked up and have seen couples grinding against the glass… :O nude andrude is right… voyeuristic Mina….ahem… :$
The old industrial buildings were a bit of a treat. They’vebeen converted into lush apartments, but they retain a lot of their old worldcharm. I wish I knew more about architecture… are any of you architecturebuffs? Do let me know!
Seeing the buildings got me thinking about visual pleasure…beauty… the spectacle of the body, of the natural world, of light, even oftechnology… I felt myself drifting away …deeper into my own thoughts as Ipaused in my walk and gazed out over the river…
Those of you who know me, would probably agree that I tryand look for the small, simple, pleasurable things in life…**
Sense and sensuality are special for me for a range of reasons.I have heightened visual senses, a sensitive palate and nose… Touch has alwaysbeen a huge part of my life and it’s a big part of why I love bodies of alldescriptions… Bodies from all walks of life, from many places around the world…eachwith a different imprint of life… of being…
I guess this is what I was thinking about, as I gazed out acrossthe river, watching the clouds on the horizon blush gold with the sun’s lastrays and then the softest pink… The storm is still gathering behind me but I faceaway from it and walk in the opposite direction… It’s moving fast and I know Ican’t hope to outpace it… part of me hopes that it will hit as I turn aroundand begin my journey home.
I continue on, smiling at the joggers who pass me… Mostlythey smile back, pleased as I am to be outside by the water… There are ofcourse the hardcore exercise buffs who are focussed on their breathing and thelength of their paces… They don’t smile but I bet they’re a million miles away…or perhaps a million miles inside… focussed on their body… the lubdub-lubdub ofthe heart, the tingling adrenaline in the fingertips, the thwack as their runningshoes hit the concrete pavement…
I keep walking. Somewhere someone is cooking outside… Thisis Australia, after all, and BBQ’s are our thing :P I can smell lemongrass,lime, garlic, prawns and charcoal… I breathe in and there’s something sweetertoo… and something heavier…something salty?…I could stay and try and work it out, but I move on, further down river as thetide rushes in from the sea.
After avoiding the storm it finally hits and I turn andwatch the dark clouds flood the city with shadows. Curtains of rain wash overthe tall buildings and birds take off in flight for nearby parks. I’m close tothe end of my walk, my destination being Brett’s Wharf where I can catch a CityCat home. Quickening my pace I jog to the terminal, the first of the rain fallslightly on my shoulders, soft but I know it will fall harder and faster in mereminutes.
Thankfully there’s a Cat approaching and I jump on, readyfor the 20 minute ride home. There are few people on board… most are headingaway from the city whereas I want to return upriver. The storm hits and thewater whips over the water, the wind blowing against the incoming tide. Thosewho were on the front deck of the Cat rush inside until there’s no one at all outside.
Sitting inside in the warm I feel stifled and tired… Onlymoments ago I was thrilled, exhilarated, but the warmth of the heater isdulling my senses already. I pull my long curly hair out of its confining plaitand shake it out, enjoying the feel of my hair against my skin. Moving quicklyI pull my hood over my head and walk out into the cold, the wet, the water andthe wind…
It’s freezing and the wind tears straight through my jumper,blowing my hood back while the spray from the river mixes in with the rain andwets my face. My hair flies around my face, red and dark brown curls tumblingevery which way. My body is covered in goose bumps in three seconds and I feelmy nipples harden against the soft material of my bra. I can’t help but laughand smile while I’m out here… all alone… rushing over the water and into thestorm.
There’s no space for thinking, no space for drifting off… Ican barely stay upright and it takes effort to keep from being blown over. Therawness… I think sometimes that harsh weather has a way of stripping us bare…of cutting through the bullshit. When I’m back where I belong in the mountains,everything in my life seems petty… especially in the face of the sublimelandscape… Here in the city this is as close as I can get to a feeling of beingtrue, of being in place… and it’s wonderful. Being stripped bare, being laidnaked and vulnerable, small against the immensity of the world… I am, and willforever be, so glad and so thankful that I can experience this… that my sensesallow such a sensual, incredible experience…
And so I shared this with you… I may very well sound stark,raving mad… But that’s okay, I think… It was important, no it IS important thatI write this stuff… That I have something to come back to when I can’t handlethe grey monotony of the city.
Either you understand or you don’t.
*kudos to whoever gets the reference ;)
** Thank you, Gorgeous one, for pointing this out to me-*kiss*
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