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a blog by Chris Barrow

Letters from a perfect imperfectionist: Beach Walk

About this post

I’m learning to write.

This is the final version of my first assignment.

Thank you Emily Ross for coaching me.

In the words of Seth Godin – I’m “shipping it”.

Beach Walk

This “now”.

This corridor of sand and time.

In camp, they use the name I give them.

Nothing else, no edge to grab, no way to position me relative to themselves, except perhaps that I am older, thinner, weaker, more agile, articulate in conversation, humane in action and contemplative by nature.

I leave them every afternoon.

To walk alone on the beach.

Bright sunshine at first, unforgiving.

I still inhale the lingering oven-heat that hauls the dry air of impenetrable forest out across a carpet of high-tide human detritus and down to evaporate amongst the tidal breakers.

Spirit-sapping convection, softening in intensity as the sun settles into the Pacific, seducing me with hues of red, ruby and crimson before darkness falls.

Soon a chilling sea-breeze will herald the resurrection of nocturnal insects, driven to penetrate and suck their sustenance from my burned raw body, hastening a scramble into malodorous clothing baked in salt and sweat.

Nightfall will imprison me in cold and restless sleep.

I’ve been starved, scratched, bitten, burned, submerged and scared.

For these few moments I am free.

No thought of the comforts of home, the security of tribe and the love of family.

No thought of the urban jungle I traverse in an unremitting voyage of “stuff that needs doing”.

I am the “now” of indifferent pelicans who surf the thermals, wing tips tapping the wave tops before they rise, pause and dive with deadly accuracy.

I am the “now” of the silvered ice-shards of schooling fish leaping into an alien sky, whilst grey stingrays hover in the shallows, their deadly tails waving an insincere welcome.

I am the “now” of coconut palms wafting in towering clans, guarding their armoured drupe whilst lower flora desperately protect each shaded plot by impeding, impaling and poisoning.

In the malignant cradle of nature.

I am enraptured.

I have no name.

I am this corridor of sand and time.

I am the “now”.

“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”

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