step back

Landscapes swing in mood, and so do I. Drove 40 minutes one way down a valley, purchased a guitar bag, a bag to help my moving life take up less space, drove 40 minutes back. Each trip, entirely different valleys.

I once discovered that packing up an entire bedroom is one of the best ways to understand who you are, right at that moment.

I've re-entered a part of the land I've stepped into before. Stood on an old mellow beach where nothing happens, a familiar sense of windwardness, gazing at Kapiti island, its loom and its promise of sanctuary, free from stoats and full of birds. In the distant seacloud, the tip of the southern sounds, and far round the coast, invisible, Wellington, where I once lived.

A few more days and I'll return to the city's harbour front, be reminded of how deep and warped memory can prove. When you step back into an old world the experience of remembering is different to how you imagine it's going to be. We look forward to memory and when it happens it doesn't quite look like anything we've seen before. The experience passes, like an unimaginative dream. We end up going into the wrong cafe, thinking it's the one we always went to. We mistake a boarded up residential unit for our favourite bar, then find our favourite bar two streets down, and discover we don't want to drink there any more.

There's a tiny boat off the coast, a small fishing vessel, or just a lover of the sun and the evening sea. It sits in a brief channel of light, there in the late hours of the day. There's something about floating whilst clouds patch and chasm above you, stitching the sea up into gold carpet and greyblue rough. It looks majestic from a distance, thoroughly zen, but from your point on earth you also have to register a squinting and a release, as the waves darken under the familiar glide of weather, and you fail to see everything at once.

Kapiti Coast 170123