Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Day The Rain Returned

I spent the morning inside, drinking tea and wandering through computer land while the sea reflected the grey clouds which have been hiding the sun all day. There was a family brai(bbq) last night and i ate so much that i felt no hunger until around 1:30pm, at which point I had some cheese, salad greens & avocado.

After that I decided to get out into the fresh air. I walked over to the beach & did standing meditation at the surf-line for a good long while. The sea is an amazingly large thing, yeah? After settling down I did some circle walking & palm changes. It's interesting doing it on the sand - a lot easier to see how the balance & force of my steps touches the earth. After I was done practicing I retraced my steps, reading the tracks of my movement like a book. Turns out I walk in spirals, not circles proper...

I walked south along the beach, watching how the winds blew strong enough to change the angle that the waves came in at, and singing. I found the top of a crab, broken off from the rest of it's skeleton & placed it in a breast pocket. A little ways on I picked up three feathers. Then, after singing a number of songs, I came across an almost complete crab exoskeleton!

I'd never been able to hold a crab before, i think. Spent a while playing with the way it's remaining limbs could move, admiring the pattern on it's back, and, finally, with a edge of trepidation, as if it might come alive in my hands from the intrusion, i began gently, layer by layer, opening up it's mouth complex. How strangely intimate the moment felt.

Then the rain came back. Soft and first, then in torrents. It was not rain like winters in pdx - those over-heavy clouds that settle onto you - but rather fat, numerous drops that had soaked through my pants on the windward side long before I returned home.

All dried off now, cup of tea once again nearby. Warm.

== == ==

The day before yesterday we went into downtown again with a mind to get out to Robin Island, where the prison Mandela (& many others) were kept in. Also there are penguins there. Or so I'm told, we never found the bus to the water front & ended up going to what was, back in the days of the Dutch East India Co., the large building where the slave where kept, called the Slave Lodge by the locals. Saw a lot of info about the slave trade & the keeping of slaves in the lodge. A lot about about rebellions, deaths, injustices and (partial) emancipations. There was, upstairs, an exhibit about some german fellow who was traveling in the interior, taking face molds of the local khoi (once & sometimes still called hottentots) in effort to expand the burgeoning theory of phrenology. It was interesting in part because the team also recorded many dialogues & monologues of the locals along with their faces & those where partially represented too. Very much a peak into different worldviews, both historical german and khoi both.

There was an amazing exhibit about the life, work & political murder of Steven Biko. Very informative, very powerful. At the end there was a number of quotes by various famous people, local folks & students too. Of all of them the one from Nelson Mandela resonated most strongly with me:


  1. Nice. It sounds like you're having a good time there. Walking in spirals.



  2. Great Mandela quote! Enjoying keeping up on our travels.