Sunday, June 10, 2012

'Monk By The Sea' by Casper David Friedrich 1808





Every morning I go for a walk along the foreshore of Napier. It is an easy stroll and although sometimes I think I'll give it a miss it helps me enormously. Encountering such a vast space can't help but be clarifying and it amazes me how it helps me sort out some knotty problem (or even become aware of what the problem is.)

Geographically it orients me too. Up to the left is the prison that Kereopa Te Rau was in, one of the subjects or presences in my book. It fixes me. And further away - some days vanishing in mist or cloud - other days rising up in seemingly illusory fragility - the Mahia Peninsular. 

At times this extends so far out into the sea it seems amazing, like a drowned geographical identity. Then it vanishes again, as if it never ever existed.



I often look at it, contemplating the difficulty of the territory 'up there'. The road to Wairoa is down to a single lane still in some points after a slip months ago. And of course behind are the Uraweras, notoriously difficult and complex.

I'd love to jump in the car and go off to look at Gisborne, at Wairoa where Kereopa Te Rau was put on the boat to Napier. But….

So when I go for my walk I feel both incredibly free and light…and yet surrounded by other presences, even hindrances, or resistances. And the beauty of wide open space.

 


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