Showing posts from August, 2012

Down the river ..........

The alarm is due to ring in a few minutes after I look at it.  I take a risk and press cancel. It is too warm, too dark, too nice to want to get up just yet.  But I manage; dressing in the darkness, trying to be as quiet as possible.  H, who must be one of the lightest sleepers in the history of western civilisation, rolls over, grins, waves at me and, pulling the covers over his head, rolls back. I step outside into still, star light silence.  No wind, no rain, maybe just a few clouds behind the trees.  I’d like to stand in the silence and listen to the forest waking, but I have an appointment with a man and a boat. The car alarm chirps, the lights flash, I drive away into a still dark morning.  On the main road I drive a little further to the right than I would normally do, hoping it would give me a bit more reaction time if anything springs from the bushes – unwary cassowaries, over-confident wallabies, Barney.   Night driving in places like this can

Across the River and Into the Trees

Rivers are one of the world’s great natural barriers.  Two sides; the where you are and the where you will be.  A journey, possibly difficult, possibly not, from one to the other.  It’s hardly any wonder we gravitate towards them, walk beside them, swim in them and write stories about them. My father claimed that Cornwall would float away if the chains on the Tamar Bridge were cut.  The Cornish reversed this idea, with their wild, western county being the solid anchor that keeps the rest of Britain in place.  Neither versions account for Ireland. But both stories hold that rivers carry an essence of difference, with the water itself more than just a physical boundary.  Such ideas abound in the world;  the passage up or over a river as a quest; the failure to cross a river and its consequences; the river as a protective barrier; the transition from here to the hereafter; these are common themes.  The journey from one sort of madness to another deeper one in the search for Colon