I was at Aireys Inlet for the Lighthouse Literary Festival, a stupendous weekend of illumination, within and without. I taught a workshop, directed actors, curated a session and spoke about SINNING ACROSS SPAIN. Mostly though, I listened – to activists, to brilliant fiction writers, to poets and to an audience lit up by possibilities. We were all imagining together, dreaming a future.
Two years ago I was approaching Finisterre – land’s end – where there is also a lighthouse, beaming out into the darkness of a wild and roaring sea. Then I was empty of all thought, save for gratitude.
I had made it.
Last weekend I walked the beach at Aireys with no pack, in company with two of my nearest and dearest. We laughed, we talked, we drifted into separate silences. I threw myself into the ocean and wallowed in the luxury of being kept afloat, and the sharp sting of salt on skin and tongue, in eyes and mouth.
I was present. Resoundingly present in a privileged, gifted life of free expression and unspoiled nature. And friends…
Two years ago, I walked toward Cape Finisterre with my pack, knowing that the journey I had undertaken was almost done. I look back at myself now, and I feel such affection for that demented blonde. She too was deeply present, without thought of anything other than the steps required to get to home.
Last weekend, as evening fell, I walked the beach at Aireys again, unable to resist the purity of its stretch of white sand, and the ceaseless crash of those ribbons of waves. The sunset could have been crafted by a lighting designer, and the soundscape was better than Beethoven. Ahhhh. It was good!
Two years ago, at Finisterre – land’s end – I sat under the lighthouse and watched the sun disappear into the ocean, dropping off the planet into oblivion. There were only gull cries and silence then. And the crackling of a small fire as it burned the list of sins. It was good.
Well, it is mighty good.
People ask me what is next. The future?
I have no idea. I’m not sure I want to know. I am here, on the “other side of the world” as they say in Spain. The sun is shining today and the sky is bright blue. Australian blue. It’s particular. And I am going to walk a bit, and write a bit, and stay in the day.
I like the “not knowing.” I always have.
The future will take me by surprise in its own good time. For now, I am grateful to Hannie and Nic for inviting me to Aireys, and to Rachel and Peter and Lou for saying yes when I asked them to jump in and risk, and to everyone who inspired me last weekend. Just as I remain grateful to all those who walked the road to Finisterre. To the lighthouse, as a greater mind once wrote.
May your day be peaceful, and may you find time…
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