Time & Tides
17 September 2013 | Brisbane River
It is the weekend of the Brisbane writer's festival, and since I yearn to become a writer then this is an exciting opportunity to go mix it with the best of them, hear their stories and share their wisdom. And pretend that rubbing shoulders will help with my plans. Me, well I am the type of writer who likes to write, as opposed to someone who is known for their writing.
I am up early and happy to see it is only 7o'clock and not 8.00am as the days tend to get away from you here on the water, especially on weekends. It was a gentle and loving nudge from beside me and no... it wasn't he who hums. It was the rock of the water indicating that one of the first ferries of the day had long gone past and left us in his wake. He who hums is out in his morning spot on the couch enjoying his morning cereal ceremony, and the kettle is singing its tunes just for me.
I thought I should share what it is like to live on the Brisbane River at this hour, because when people ask me if I like living on a boat they tend to do it with a frown and a tilt of their head and a squinty eye thing going on. And in those exact moments these sentiments do not come out of my mouth eloquently enough to convince them.
I gather my first cleansing tea of the day as I plonk into my bean bag front and centre of the forward deck where the boom shades my face from the perfect transeasonal morning sun.
The river is at a standstill or near enough to it, as I can see a lonely white duck feather drifting past me and heading up river. The flickering shadows from behind closed eyes allow the kookaburra to get into my space above the crows noise and the tweeting of the new day become the chorus to my unintentional meditation. The sun warmth sinks into my core, enough to stay easily in that stillness. I only open my eyes to sip and go back to where I was - not before I notice the sun reflecting as perfectly from the water as it was up in the sky. The dual suns surround me in a soft light adding to the beauty of a day beginning. I glance across to Sydney Street, and I make grateful note for my sunny side of the river, as the light of day has not filtered into the shady side of the unit blocks. Although picturesque with their luscious green surrounds, it appears to be 10 degrees cooler. The meandering river so close I could almost touch it as the waking day for others is all just a stone's throw away from where I sit, yet I feel camouflaged in our life here as no one would suspect anyone would or could live onboard.
The passing ferry creates the quick waves of flashing light behind my closed eyes and I remind myself that a sandy bottom river would truly complete my life here. It would then be the kind of start to the day where I could plunge off the side of our boat as I you do in the Pacific... every day. I imagine a morning dip would definitely require a cheerio wave of synchronized swimmer to the city cat drivers. Firstly, to as to be seen and secondly out of respect in sharing their work space on the river. I occasionally get a toot or a wave from them pending their proximity and speed and the fact that we had met most of them when Condesa was moored under the Gateway Bridge. Actually, I know it is Condesa they wave to, not so much me, as I am near invisible here as I have now sunken into in the shadows of my masts. And from the other side I was surprised at how dwarfed Condesa appeared as she was nestled into the rolling lawns of Shafston House university and the historic sandstone buildings that are dotted on this property are significant in appearance.
With that daydream, a little white duck came scooting past with effortless paddles from his broad feet that look bigger under the waters magnification. I couldn't ignore the quacking and his request for attention, so I dashed to get him some food, a habit I may live to regret. Off he continued on his merry way, possibly up to the botanical gardens or maybe Southbank. Oh and that reminded me, to recheck my own schedule? And yes! If I was going to make the writer's festival conversation with Matthew Reilly upstream, then I had better get paddling too.
How does this happen? A time warp every morning where the hours race away quicker than you can sip a cup of tea.
More about nothing next blog and if you are really lucky - some words with more flair from a wannabe writer.