territorialities by ks
I take my dog for a walk on the beach in the morning and in the evening. Sometimes during the day, we just lay together in the grass, listening to the sound of the sea and catching the refrain of birds eking out their own territorialities. Not everyone understands. They wonder what we are looking for. As we study the various markers and their scents, the change of wind, the tide, the fallen leaf, the first and last frangipani, the thunderhead rising in the afternoon like an old man grumbling out of bed, the coming and going of people and cars, the rubbish left behind, the discarded objects and their peculiar charms. I guess that is why they do not understand. We found what we were looking for some time ago. Nothing too fancy, just a place to live. You see my dog just wants to hang out with me and me; I just want to be able to hang out at the beach day to day. It is a bit humbling that sort of devotion, that sort of contentment, dare I say it that sort of love. The dog had to teach me of course. It took me a little while to get it. Still does at times.
My friend found a rock on the foreshore; someone had dragged it free, from the smooth boulders at the edge of the sand. They had stood it up on its base, pointed its crooked finger skyward, and left its placement as a gift for the grateful. I wandered up from the surf still jazzed by the morning’s waves and the mid morning glory of a wintery day moving toward its apex. As I approached the miniature megalith, I felt the benign power of the stony monument to ordinary aesthetics touch me with its understated genius. He brushed the sand off the surface of its four-winded face revealing intricate patterns blasted by the accumulative forces of time and place. Soon we get to talking surfboard design and slow stepping a dancing conversation around the rock in the sun. I have seen this magic looking teardrop board (single fin) shaped for Dane Peterson by Neal Purchase jnr. I want to use the curve from my Brewer Gun to make a fuller and slightly shorter version of it as a quad (the NPJ stick is in the same neighbourhood). I have to leave for work and he has the day off I am stoked for him because he has been under a heavy schedule. When I get home from work, I go down the beach with the dog and see my friend has balanced half a dozen rocks from the tip of the morning’s megalith. The wind is howling and the surf is picking up, the rocks are just hanging there as if suspended in a Magritte painting. When I reach the car park my friend is there with another buddy, we sit around and have a couple of beers talking surf design as the light ebbs out of the day. I dig it.
The following morning its overcast and the clouds are spitting rain ever so slightly from a cross-shore wind. We wander along the sand, the dog drawing out the journey to its fullest potential. Someone has pushed the megalith over and the balancing act is over for now. Reminding me of when my eldest daughter would build things as a child and her younger sister would delight in pushing them over. I walk past two little purses with furry pig faces strung over the treated pine barriers waiting for their owners to return to claim them. A group of people are milling about discussing the options for better waves somewhere else. We meet a dog-named Flynn who seems to know me from a former life. The sound of about twenty black cockatoos animates the sky above the headland and tells me an East coast low is a distinct possibility. Their numbers have grown steadily in the last couple of years. Now the Highway upgrade is cutting whole swathes of forest with upmarket developments reducing things to mulch. Not everyone understands. Nor cares. The dog had to teach me of course. It took me a little while to get it. Still does at times. But she understands…