The Great Rotundo

January 15, 2008

I had a dream last night about a bouncing, bulbous man who scalloped across the water, laughing, like a mirth filled balloon. His laugh was basso profundo and I named him in my dream, The Great Rotundo.

He bounced off the wave tops as the wind was clocked against the rushing tide, making for a running tumble of sea that the Great Rotundo took as ski jump level entertainment. After what seemed like a long skipping trip across the water, with the jewels of phosphorescence stirred up in the dark lighting the way, the round one bounced up on my beach.

I heard him BOING-BOING as he bounded across the grassy slope leading up from the dock and then slammed into the house. The door flew open and he rolled into my room as I lay in bed marveling.The dogs were not alarmed. They wagged their tails. The Great Rotundo gave them pets and hugs and, in exchange, the pups licked the seaweed and sand off the circular man.

“What do you want, oh round one?” I asked.

“A drink and a nap,” he said.


No Van Go

January 11, 2008

I have been away. I came back to Blind Channel some time ago, but I was not able to write.

I foolishly immersed myself in a foreign world for a time and had been much the worse for it. In coming back and trying to recover from this hateful place known as L.A., I was unable to and I left again.

French Ferguson just looked at me and said, “but ye jest got back.”

I went to Belize and learnt to build boats on a beach out of local wood, boats that have sails and are used by free-diving conch and lobster fisherman, who plunge 25 meters under the water whilst holding their breaths.They free dive down, and return with their catch to the surface, over and over again.

Some of them can hold their air for longer than three minutes and you can see them swimming down in the deep water, hunting for their prey, because it is so clear. You can clearly look down and see the bottom in 15 fathoms.

They come up and after several trips, climb on the boat after handing up the final catch and take a break by lighting up cigarettes and drinking Belikin Beer and taking swigs of warm cheap brandy and lolling about and laughing hard at everything said and seen.

The sails are then set and the boat hauls off to a market in places like Stann Creek, also called Dangriga Town, where they sell what they have, collect and go drinking, before going home to their families or their lovers – because they all have wives and lovers, these guys, and lots of cute little kids, it seems.

There are some Christian straight elements about who look down on these fellows as dregs, fornicators and hopeless alcoholics and the men just laugh even harder, tell more jokes, kid each other that much more and live on.  

Out on the boat, one of which I helped build, this wild music called Punta wailing on the boom box, I thought – what a collision of ideas, diving in such a way that it is an impossible feat made routine and then coming to the top and destroying the very machines that make this impossible thing possible – the lungs and the brain.

But who am I to judge?

I am an Irish fool who got shown around glitter town like a watch fob, a mere curiosity, by an actress to her Hollywood friends – until I just left without explanation.

Belize was what I needed. Back at Blind Channel, before Belize and right when the actress attached herself to me while I’d been partying with the beautiful people in Tofino, the fish stopped speaking to me. I did not notice it then, for I was distracted by my new house guest. 

In Belize, they came back to me the day we launched the boat. The wonderful chatter of the fish returned.  My stay there was populated by these wonderous, deep Black, coffin nail-puffing divers who give a shite about nothing at all. It was filled with my fish, who came to me daily and conversed about all manner of things, and by my new friends on the islands in the Range and Tobacco Caye, where we sailed after leaving the north of the country.

From all of this, I began to heal and see mysterious new things. My wonderful fish have accepted me back, I have somehow found my path home and now, back to my writing, accompanied by my beloved dogs. 

I may seem mad to some, if not all, but I did not do a Vincent van Gogh. I have both my ears and I have taken to pondering all the simple things I have not noticed, or about which I have never previously thought much. 

I have seen the Starry Night Vincent painted on glorious display night after night, with the trades booming in over the reef and the heavens so clear, there is no earthly way to describe the sight. For this, I am again joyful.

I now plan to go to Ireland, to Dingle, to ponder those things there.   


January 11, 2008

they are premeditated food, sandwiches.

i often had to leave home for the day without one while growing up. a scrap of meat, yes, or a fruit, but not a sandwich.

a sandwich must be thought about in advance of its construction. its ingredients considered.

whereas, a scrap of meat, or a fruit, they are just as they are, without pre-consideration as to construct by the supplier, with also no effort in making them what they are before you stuff them in your sack.

i have lately come to realize how often i was sent forth without a sandwich as a boy and i now understand nobody had thought about making me one on those days.

i did not merit the idea of a sandwich, i suppose. even before one was never built for me, i did not merit the idea of possibility that one ought to be considered for construction and then presented.

i have come to believe that a sandwich made and presented is an act of love and that one never made is actually withheld, as love is withheld, until we wilt.

or, at the very least, the greens do.