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Rhythm of life

08 February 2013, 22:24

I wonder about the future of this country. Will I still be able to find peace in its nature or will it be too dangerous, even out of bounds? My own nature kicks against it; I prefer to see hope in every dark corner I notice. Maybe because I will it out of fear, maybe I cannot defeat the optimist inside. I push the dark corner away; today it is not here yet.

While considering the expression: “alone we find solitude, together we find love” I still treasure my alone time. Maybe just to sort out the world’s problems or clear some cobwebs. As I watch the breaking surf while walking along the beach, it mesmerises me into a repetitive stupor. I walk thinking of the vastness of this water mass, the cyclic rolling of the waves, the rough grainy sand tickling the bridge of my feet and the softness of the salty bubbles. Looking down I catch my balance which threatens to let go with the ebb of the water.

Finding a smooth rock, I sit and peer at the horizon. A large container ship is anchored awaiting admission to the harbour; another load of imports await the consumer and exporting anything our land produces or has stored. I silently hope that there is no heroin, cocaine or other damaging illegal drugs waiting to be docked, and on departure; no rhino horn goes afloat. The world has such expensive and advanced technology to spot these things, but tons of it still makes its way to the unfortunate or delusional end user. I suppose if it is wanted bad enough, there’s always a way.

Closing my eyes and relying on sound, the waves overpower any other; weird how rhythm paces our life for us. From the moment we are born the heartbeat starts to confirm that we are alive, and as soon as the beat is rhythmic, it is a sign that all is well for us to go home and start life. We walk at pace, run at pace and work at pace. The safety and stability of routine is confirmed by the rhythm we do things with. Even in nature; animals, flora and weather patterns rely on a rhythm to do things.

Lovers cross my field of vision. They walk slowly looking into each other’s eyes or playfully kick water and run in and out of the sea. Love, for one thing, has no real rhythm. From the moment we fall into it until the day one of us departs, love gives us warmth in our hearts, races emotions, ignites passions and infuriates us from time to time. The urge to touch and let someone know you love them or re-confirm it, does not come on a tempo or pace. Love has its own time.

Waves are crashing all around me, with an aftermath of fine mist which lingers all the time since the wind has gone resting; I can taste the salt just by breathing. Closing my eyes again I cannot anticipate the next battery of waves. It plays havoc with my mind because rhythm is an expectation of known time – expectation devout of rhythm is like a surprise. Then the wave crashes and soothes over the sand and fills the pools, trickling like a thousand little waterfalls, before the next unexpected crash.

Ever since I can remember, drums did it for me. Later on I came to realise that the backbone of any band was the drum, rhythm – and bass guitar. I guess we are all born with rhythm – worth mentioning though – some of us seem to miss a few beats here and there. The longer I sit here with my eyes closed, the more I get into the off-beat rhythm of the ocean. Weird, even off-beats and seemingly non constructed movement has a rhythm of its own. I guess you have to hear or feel it without expectations.

A fisherman startles me and disrupts my whole train of thought. He casts his line and settles not far from my smooth rock, as if I invaded his spot. I turn my shoulder to show that I am processing some important information, but he either ignores it or doesn't catch the body lingo. “Sea is a bit on the rough side” he says, “Don’t think the fins will bite”. I agree verbally but reserve my disagreement and look the other way. Rough for him is majestic and powerful to me – but then, I’m not fishing. Much like we all see things differently I guess, from behind emotionally filled lenses, full of our own conceptions and convictions – or just fishing.

The fisherman has upset my slow pace of thought but it is not a bad one. Most times we upset our life’s tempo or, it is unsettled by circumstance; we relax, stress or take it in our stride. Like the fortunate among us who can go on holiday, it upsets the grinding routine at home. Even unfortunate, life changing news has its place to rattle the routine we are in. The importance of breaking the mould of rhythm every now and again is that it keeps us guessing. It keeps us on our toes, it revitalises and rejuvenates, wears us down and makes us sad – it brings the confirmation that we are human, have fear, have elation, have angst, and have love.

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