colourful collage

Thoughts atop a cliff

Looking down from the top of the cliffs of Etretat, I felt that I could fall, fall, fall without ever hitting the surface of the sea.

It seemed strange that the very place I was standing on might not be there one day (sooner than the rest of existence might perish perhaps), it seemed strange that the earth could fall beneath me at any moment and I would go fall falling ... but why I should be so wary?

We go on every day thinking that we are on solid ground, that tomorrow is just beyond the reach of the setting of the moon and the rising of the sun. We spoil ourselves with our steadfast beliefs, we like to believe in absolutes — this is right, this is wrong. To steal is wrong, but we deny the needy that they resort to crime. To cheat on your spouse is wrong, but we do not learn to respect each other as individuals, we base our expectations of each other according to codes of conducts marketed by commercialism and society's moralities, with the need to paint everything black and white.

We have the luxury of fooling ourselves when we don't need to be conscious about breathing. I don't know how I could possibly feel more alive — standing on the edge of the cliff, blown about by the wind, looking downward ...

I said, "Isn't it a Japanese tradition to find somewhere nice to die, should you have the need to commit suicide?"

I'd read about that somewhere. He'd taken my hat, in case it flew out of my hand and I was tempted to chase after it.

We lied down on our backs and looked up at the endless blue sky. The grass on top of the world smelled sweet, I stroked the wild flowers and mocked the fat seagull — the only kind of bird I can't stand — who had followed us from cliff-edge to cliff-edge.

The tide had pulled out and revealed the beach of pebbles and stones, stretching outwards to grey-green oblivion. Funny to think that the beach was once cliffs. Below, a man played with his two black dogs, a group of friends bounced stones across the rocks and watched them splash into the sea.

"Let's go down to the beach," I said, and so he took my hand and we made our way down, down, down, stopping only to say hello to brown fluffy rabbits who were taking refuge in the nearby field.

Photo of sunset at Etretat, seagull perched on part of a fallen cliff.

07 August 2003, Thursday, 8:01 AM

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Alter ego of dandruff

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