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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Island Emails

Grand Cayman Island in all her glory...
Imagine children riding on the front of a swerving ancient old beach cruiser with their friend peddling furiously to keep the almost flattened wheels moving. Laughter spread across their faces as they weave down a narrow stretch of road between them and the beach, dodging cars. It's Hot! The sun bleaches even the brightest Caribbean colours pale at the height of the day. Lounging under the Sea Grapes, walking to the water, chasing each other around the beach, the people of this island congregate at the beach during the afternoons to wait out the daily heat wave that sweeps through. Gone by sunset, the beaches become deserted as darkness descends. Replaced by the din of night creatures and lapping water. Mosquito's, the bane of this island. They find their way into every little room and suck the very blood right out of you even through your clothes. Tricky little devils. They don't put their needle noses in at a straight 45 degrees but slanted ever so slightly to make it hurt.

August 3rd, 2008
A note to Jason
Just need to tell you about this last day I had.
Woke up quite early after a fairy restless night to take my girlfriend Rina to the airport on her way to see her boyfriend’s place in the keys then shortly thereafter onto an alcohol clinic to take care of business. I went home, had a fabulous conversation with a very handsome man...sorry babe , not you...;} Shortly I found myself either deciding to watch a movie or take myself to the beach to swim now that I have a car. Oh yeah forgot to tell you. Rina also chose to rent me her 2006 Honda CRV for a pittance a week. OK back to the beach for goodness sakes. I found a great beach chair and hunkered in. Got wet and fell asleep. End of story......Fuck NO!!!! First off you honestly think I’d fall asleep before getting my swim in. Now on your life babe. Too much energy in this body these days. .... OK so......again I digress. I started my swim. Figured I could get about 1-1/25 miles in if I swam to a certain point. Anyways on the way back fighting the current I suddenly...OK HERE”S THE GOOD PART!!!!!./... became a member of a fairly large small Jack fish school with 3 needle fish and 2 BIG Jacks lurking and constantly trying to eat them. I swam along like I hadn’t noticed and they began to infiltrate every available space with in 1/4 inch of my skin. I was nipped several times and they were touching my mask. I slowed and they slowed. I sped up and they followed suite. We swam on like this for almost if not over 45 minutes. I kept slowing or speeding up and they would just stay near, never moving too far away ever and usually with in touching distance. What an amazing feeling to become a part of a school of fish. Constantly the needle fish doing flybys with little nips here and there. These fish were like the big flocks of blackberry birds in the Pacific Northwest that literally undulate across the sky in a switchback pattern. The Big Jacks were even taking pop shots at me. They would swim close and then suddenly swipe past your face or across you stomach just touching the skin. I swam under the water several times and they would follow my a I swirled around in cycles. As I neared a couple and their baby boy near shore the fish darted off to greet up with them and hide there in the waves. The little boy was squealing with sheer delight as they roared around his daddy’s legs. It was adorable. I finally got out and fell asleep on the beach chair. I find myself constantly in touch with some creature of the water here. Barracudas off the coast of my house. It’s a lot rougher waters and gets the majority of rain usually. I love being in this water. It challenges me, scares me and completes me.

Second thing that this day gave me:

I got home and decided to cook myself dinner. I started to watch the lightening storm over on the other side of the island. It had been advancing up the island all day. I watched the clouds stacking up as I packed up to head home from the beach. After cooking dinner and having a glass of wine, I went outside to enjoy the evening and watch the lightening storm. I sat down and started to take in the gloriousness of the evening. The stars as they ...excuse the phrase.. Twinkled in the evening sky, the light of Georgetown in the distance and 7 mile beach lighting fading into areas of dense thicket. Here the waves crash on the iron shore outside sometimes sounding like bullets being fired from a distant gun. The constant rumble of thunder after a surreal lightening sweeps across the clouds hidden until the the lightening carves a path through or sweeps behind. The lightening strikes, glitters as it dances across the sky from end to end of my sight. I laid my head back and settled instantly into a meditative trance. I began to feel my body pull against me as I was thrust forward into the sky above me. Cold to touch, hot inside I was yanked out of my physical body and flung to the sky in a lotus flower pattern of teardrops slowly shrinking in size and dimension. Each petal began to change, to shimmer and transformed into a glowing tear against the black universe dotted with her beautiful stars and galaxies and milky ways. I could feel the hand of god...if that’s what you’d call it. It could have been the hand of the goddess, the hand of Zeus, the hand of Athena, the hand of... Oh who the F%(@ cares. Just the hand of God. I could see everything around me in extreme clarity. I could see the lotus flower begin to transform again into a Protea the great stalked flower grew to an gigantic height and turning an iridescent bright golden yellow with glowing pink to orange edges, becoming a lotus flame expanding across the sky, taking it up completely in the end. The flame of life Jason. The flame of love, incarnate humanity. For all to see, hear and do, there she sat flames flicking the sky in an ethereal fashion. I sat and absorbed this into my being. I absorbed it into my soul and suddenly ...it was all OK.... It is all OK!! I can taste her and am complete. I am again as I should be whole and complete. Not needing a soul to fill holes and “help” someone though their shit. I digress. I stayed this way for god only knows how long but suddenly the lightening changed. I was yanked back to reality with the force of my head falling forward. Was I asleep this entire time? Did I dream it all? Did the whole day even happen? OH GOD!! I got up and wandered inside to write this letter to you. To make sure someone I know and trust can understand it. As I’ve been writing this to you Jason, the storm has moved into West Bay and the rain is slowing increasing in size and intensity. The wind forces my plants to slide across or topple on the deck. I can hear my windsock getting slammed on the side of the building, it’s bamboo pieces being slammed around. I think I’ll have to go get it before it drives me nuts with it’s clamouring. Slowly is peaceful, this is invasive massive windstorm like shit. OK I’m awake now. Again thrust back into the ugly reality I deal with moment to moment...the gross details of a functioning life, the gross details of a human life. Back to life. Hello there...hmmm I’m hungry...

August 24th, 2008
The sea has been dead flat the last 2 days. Like dead flat!! It's amazing to wake up and see this here in the open ocean. Islands are rarely calm. The wind is always blowing...or so it seems at times. Being on the water is an adventure in itself. The weather entertains me instead of the TV. Much funner to watch a lightening storm or water spout pass by than to sit and stare at a TV all day and night. Snorkelling outside the apartment is fabulous when you can get in the water. There are at least 5-6 dive spots about 1/4 mile off shore we swim to almost daily. There are 3 of us here in the complex that go swimming together regularly. Last night Sherri and I sat on the landing and watched the bio-luminescence flicker each time a wave hit the rocks. We dosed up on mosquito repellent. The night was silent. You could hear voices travelling across the water from miles away. There was one lone boat fishing on the reef in front of us. Illegal as all hell but who cares.
This is the Caribbean.

August 27th, 2008
Wednesday, today
I'm sitting on the landing with Sherri, my downstairs neighbour. We just watched a great movie and decided to watch the storm clouds move in and the bio-luminescence in the water. The water is dead calm right now. The calm before Gustav I think... There is a slight breeze. Enough to rustle the dead palm fronds hanging from the trees. A small swell has started to lap at the coastline. Ever so slowly increasing in size till soon this lovely setting will be no more, replaced by an angry beast. Sherri and I make out way out of the house and navigate the stairs and walkway to the 2 Adirondack chairs we have strategically placed to see both the night ski and the water below. The clouds are all around us. Stacked high in mighty columns ever growing, melding into one another, transforming into something completely new every few minutes. But there still is a void in our bay and the sky is crystalline clear. . Directly above and in front of us Jupiter in all his glory blares out amongst the Sagittarius cluster. Running through Sagittarius across the sky from top to bottom of me a milky ribbon of iridescent beauty. The Milky Way like I've never seen her before. So clear and defined. Almost like a cloud in the stars. I've watched northern lights off the coast of Iceland. I've sailed tropical storms in Hawaii and now I'm about to be a part of my first real hurricane with a name. All those nights were incredible and unique. All those nights I saw amazing things. Tonight the sky is clearer than I've seen her since I've been here. Lightening flashes behind us on the north side of the island. Planes are landing and taking off at extraordinary intervals. Everyone is vacating the island for fear of the hurricane damage.

We laid in our chairs long enough to watch the rotation of the earth. It's amazing when you are still, long enough to actually tune into the slow moving things of this earth. It's a sobering thing to experience. How magnificent is this place we live? This beautiful place we think is the centre of the whole grand universe. And yet are we? Look up and you will have your answer. So amazing the very idea of there being someone else and yet not. I mean really, just look up.

Falling asleep in a lawn chair at the edge of a very rocky ocean is not a smart thing to do. But since when have you ever done what you're supposed to do ALL the time? Of course we both knocked out for a minute or two and well here I am now writing this lovely little moment to you. And Sherri is now most likely in bed.


XOXO
Elise

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