A few years ago I was on a small sailing boat becalmed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of miles from land with a dicky freshwater maker and diminishing fuel supplies the experience was less scary than disquieting on a uniquely satisfying level. In tearing your gaze from the sexy Gaia curve of the horizon to peer down into the depths you’d be met with yourself in a silky mirror. Yeah, try to fathom that odd light in your eyes, it’s new to you but way older than yer nan. We would switch the engine off just to sit in the loudest silence I’ve never heard. At a point more than three miles deep we jumped in, plunged through the looking glass. With nothing to focus on in the bluest of blue, no bobbing cotton tail, an intense sensation of vertigo forced my heart out of my body; strange throbbing jetsam.
The closest I’ve come to this since was on Saturday between the fraudulent new capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, and the more genuine seeming little Karaganda 150miles southeast. Riding down a bolt straight ribbon of asphalt laid across the steppe I tried to take it all in. For one reared in the mummy hills and intimate valleys of Mid-Devon, this alien beauty almost hurts. The Space, the Light, christ, Arman, pass the tissues. The blue (it’s always the blue) sky was full of little fluffy clouds and at the point where they and the yellow grease met, a million dreams to either side, something excruciatingly wonderful was created; Horizontal Vertigo. Get it while you can you might still see it in the desert.
P.S. if my heart washes up on a shore near you, give it a little massage and chuck it back in, would ya (please don’t feed it to the cat, I might need it one day).
15th July 2014