Monday, February 2, 2009

St kilda pier and the ocean

Tonight after work we decided to go down to the beach so we went down to the St Kilda pier/ Esplanade. We were hoping to watch the sunset but it was too cloudy. There were a couple people swimming, in their clothes no less, it almost seemed like they weren't planning on getting in the water when they left for the beach. Lots of fishermen, we saw one something-or-other flopping around on the dock while the new owners seemed vaguely confused about what the next step was now that they got it out of the water. 

When we walked out on the pier the wind was strong and towards the direction of the waves. The waves were fast moving but didn't have any whitecaps. It was like a speed walker just at the limit of having to break into a trot. Purposeful, determined concentration. 

Back when I was in high school, a now long-gone best friend of mine would give me mantras to concentrate on, just roll them over in my head or write them down until I got what they meant. One was "opening your stove" (think about it, see if you can get it). Another was "the ocean is deeper than the grave". I think it meant that if you ever feel like you can't wait for it to be over (this was as an awkward teenager so you know the context), just think of how much there is out there that you'll never get to experience, that you'd be missing out on. The ocean is nearly infinite in its vastness. Death is just a period at the end of a sentence. 

Almost unrelated but I'm reading another book from Beth Ebert's library, The Life of Pi. It's great, I recommend it without reservation so far. I'd say more but I hate spoilers. In the book though they talk about why people move. Here's a great passage

"Why do people move? What makes them uproot and leave everything they've known for a great unknown beyond the horizon? Why climb this mount everest of formalities that makes you feel like a beggar? Why enter this jungle of foreignness where everything is new, strange and difficult? 

The answer is the same the world over: people move in the hope of a better life....

People move because of the wear and tear of anxiety. Because of the gnawing feeling that no matter how hard they work their efforts will yield nothing, that what they build up in one year will be torn down in one day by others. Because of the impression that the future is blocked up, that they might do all right but not their children. Because of the feeling that nothing will change, that happiness and prosperity are possible only somewhere else" 

p.s. At the end of the pier we saw a sign about the native wildlife. Penguins in the middle of the city, who would have thought! We saw two little fatties jumping from rock to rock about 10 feet away. Sorry no pictures, the flash is terrible on their eyes. 

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