He filled my doorway
Throwing back the sheets, I grinned
And let the storm in
He filled my doorway
Throwing back the sheets, I grinned
And let the storm in
The Two Oceans Marathon. One of Cape Town’s biggest events of the year. Every Easter weekend (the Saturday), thousands of runners, shitload kilometres… And a real pain in the tit if you live anywhere along the carefully plotted course that runs down the main road of a series of residential areas and assumed you would be sleeping til sunrise on your long weekend. Like me.
And just in case you aren’t sure what time to expect the stampede, fear not! As they have enormous speakers blaring music thoughtfully situated along the sidewalks to announce the arrival… The ETA in my neighbourhood being around 5.30am (I mentioned that its the Saturday, right?).
So! With no escape from it and no chance of getting to bed til they are gone, I have put together a list of time fillers – guaranteeing you will enjoy the marathon as much as the thousands of bouncing jelly beans flattening your front lawn. All you will need is two trusty amigos, a bottle of shots and a little imagination!
Ready? Set. Goooo get coffee mugs to disguise the shots. Trust me.
THE 10m MUFASA RELAY – after some responsible warm up exercises and a positive tequila gameface inducer, see who can run across the street, touch the lamppost and run back the fastest. This will require good timing and a fearless approach, in style of Mufasa in The Lion King. Beware though! These wildebeest slap hard.
RUNNING SUMO SELFIES — whip out those old sumo suits you KNEW you would use again someday, put them on, do tequila and set off!! The one who gets the least blurry running selfie wins! Again.. Beware the photobombing slappyslap.
SURPRISE FLASH MOB – thousands of people in the same place, you know this has to happen AND they brought their own boom box! Finish bottle, spread out and get that crowd dancing! Extreme slapping expected, use it in your choreography for extra points, champ! Feel free to keep the sumo outfits on for protection.
COLLECT THE NUMBERS – use your best spy skills for this daring challenge. See who can collect the most number IDs off the runners’ vests before expected arrival at secret rendezvous point.
See? When it comes to sporting events, you can’t help but feel inspired to participate. Dont be shy, get out there and go for gold. Olmeca Gold. Silver works too. You are all winners.
A hand steers the clouds across the sky
Like shapeless cars on invisible tracks
Not one of them notice as they giggle on by
Flicking their silk locks across their tanned backs
They ignore the tiny painted warrior fleet
Hidden on the backs of pesky birds at their feet
I have to look down to hide my secret smile
As I marvel at this unseen magic’s addictive charm
And allow the mermaids in my teacup to bewitch me for a while
Watching the breeze rustle the illustrated leaves on my arm
The fairies spy from their cloaks of flapping butterfly wings
On these curiously unaware high heeled glossy creatures
Who sacrificed seeing the magic in seemingly ordinary things
To parade false beauty on their empty porcelain features.
Sailing over endless depths of ebbing velvetine poetry
Glittery choruses of lights sparkling life across the skies
Returned with crystal grace from the dancing calm of the ocean
Whispering enchantment onto all their light protects
Lending guidance to this adventure
I surrender all control,
For the liberation of this soul,
The pursuit of starlight carries me away
In love with you
Is the most beautiful music
That has ever
Filled my soul
“There she is again…. Every day, same time. Like clockwork.”
“Oh my God, this is difficult to watch….. Why does she torture herself like this?”
Adrienne feels this spotlight on her every day at lunch time, while she is hurrying between the sun-bronzed surfers. Every day she is aware that it can’t go on forever. Every day she is reminded that she will have to, one day, stop coming here for him and move on. And every day she is blinded by how unprepared she is for that day.
Well, today, that is what she is here to do. Today is the day.
Her pace slows when she spots him, waiting for her in the usual place, searching each face for hers. He takes a slow, deep breath when he sees that she has been crying and he begins to move towards her.
“Please…” she starts, bravely, causing him to pause. “ I…. I need to say this. Just…. Please, let me…” the words are choked off with an involuntary sob which she tries to control.
He waits quietly, and keeps watching her. He already knows what she has come here to say. He knows that this is going to hurt. He also knows how long it has taken her to reach this point. He remains respectful, he doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t look away.
She finally looks at him again, still exhaling shakily. Despite her improved composure, her tears don’t stop. She takes in every detail of his face and feels her heart breaking for the thousandth time.
“Today is the last day. I won’t be back tomorrow. I WON’T… I can’t do this to myself forever. This time with you is the only part of my day that I actually experience. There is nothing else. It’s gone on for too long. I disappear anywhere else, everywhere else. I convinced myself that it would get easier with time but I die a little more every time we meet here. Believe me, it has been worth every ounce of my sanity. This is not easy.”
She stops speaking for a moment and turns towards the ocean, grabbing the rail tightly with both hands. He moves closer and stands so close that she can almost feel him, and she feels that unmistakeable safety of his presence. It tears her apart.
“I have come here over and over again to say goodbye to you for ‘the last time’, but each time I can barely manage to walk away from you. It’s like walking away from my own soul. In a weird way I never really leave this place at all, because I am too scared to face the reality of a life without you. The thought still terrifies me. We were supposed to do this together, god damn you! YOU said that! You PROMISED that you would always be there and I believed you! And look at me now…. Look…. I have to escape from the remnants of my broken life just to share a moment here with you when I can get one. I can’t anymore….. I have to let you go. Don’t wait here for me anymore after today…. If you do I won’t ever stop coming. And I NEED to stop …… I must. The truth is that you left, and I don’t blame you for that, it wasn’t your fault…. It…”
She closes her eyes as she feels him wrapping his arms around her. She knows this is the last time, and she lets herself savour it. He warms her aching soul with his embrace, her weary heart is home again for a fleeting moment. “Shhhhhh…..” he manages, and silently protects her from the rest of the world for the last time.
She feels him release her gently and move away. She doesn’t turn around until he is gone. She turns and searches the passers-by for his face. The realisation that he is really gone numbs her, and the voices around her become clearer once again.
“It is her, check…. Same time as yesterday….. Damn…..”
“Wasn’t her fiancée that lifeguard? About a year back”
“Who is she talking to? Her mouth is moving…..”
“….. he saved that kid from drowning…. Never made it back to shore with the second child….. Such a tragedy”
“She just stands there every day, talking to herself…. Then goes back to work….”
She spots him not too far away, he is still watching her intently, his eyes full of warmth and love. She watches him back until he fades away. She smiles gently and breathes in for what feels like the first time ever. The warmth of his embrace doesn’t evaporate as she begins to walk back in the direction she came for the last time.
“I will be back someday when we have all the time in the world. This was only the last goodbye.”
Whistling winds echo towards you from every, and no direction
Enhancing your isolating abyss of desert sand and heat
Disrupted only by the clanking of the chains, the infliction
Shackled around your neck, and dragging at your feet.
With each mile you gain, it sinks deeper,
Growing heavier in your wake
The way forward, you know, holds many more miles
Which seem to multiply, each step you take.
There is no map you are following, or promised reward at the end
Only this direction you have chosen, and from it you will not bend
You slow to a complete halt, taking in a laboured breath,
And with courage, you turn to face what you were dragging
Something you have not done yet
Dropping to your knees, you begin to pull at the chains
One arm’s length after the next
Armed with only the self-belief that remains,
Your struggle ends now. Now, you soul finds rest.
As it is drawn, the chains’ hue fades, becoming less opaque
They become easier and easier to pull from the sand,
Freeing an anchor of clear crystal, delicate enough to break,
Weightless, it shatters in your hand.
Rid yourself of this burden, you do not need it,
Go now, in any direction you choose,
Your mind is no prisoner, you have freed it,
Its only by doubting yourself, that you can lose.
It was only when the shapes began to form on the horizon that she understood why she had been moving in this direction for as long as she had. The water’s surface began to breathe lazily beneath her feet, as if waking in the light of the new day.
At first the shapes teased her sight with flickers of light, like twinkling fragments in the distance, catching her eye in the rising sun’s rays. But the closer she drew, and the brighter the new day became, the more flickers appeared, multiplying before her and merging into visible shapes she could almost identify….. Almost….. She kept moving forward, her gaze fixed on her destination, her body warming with the golden haze intensifying around her.
After a few more paces, she stopped walking, staring ahead at the picture that had just slowly painted itself before her. The mystery of what she was seeing began to rise with the breeze and whisper around her in the cool morning air.
But… how? How had they gotten here? It wasn’t possible…. But then, what was IMPOSSIBLE out here?
Rooftops…. About thirty different, perfectly detailed rooftops. Protruding over the water’s surface. Standing strong and proud, though misplaced in the centre of the ocean.
Her curiosity evolved quickly into a wild sense of adventure, a thirst to find answers. She grinned with determination and began to race forward over the ripples to meet them.
She moves so gently over the water that it barely ripples beneath her feet. She makes no sound.
Lowering herself to sit on the surface, she bends her knees and presses her feet into the depths. She lazily swishes them back and forth, feeling the warm water move around them, between her toes, beneath her fingertips as they trace the surface softly. She takes in every detail of her surroundings.
The ocean continues endlessly, whichever way she looks. Strokes of golden purple hues are cast across the net of clouds above her by the setting sun to her left. It warms the side of her face and body gloriously.
The air around her is electric. It dances in tiny, nonsensical patterns and whispers a thousand sweet truths against her exposed skin, creating a charge she feels revived by. She cannot remember the last time she breathed with such ease. Each inhalation infuses her, the turmoil within steadily dilutes and eventually shrinks away – replaced with a clear, untainted energy. Awakened, she becomes more and more aware of the sensations in her body, the rhythmic beating of her own heart within her chest, the movement of her own energy occupying every space beneath her skin. She feels alive again, resuscitated after the heaviest of conscious slumbers. Her connection to her own existence renewed.
There is a silent purity here that she is now both filled with and overwhelmed by. It is here that her undying spirit ignites. It is here that she finds herself again.