|At what point does a crisis begin? One minute, we were laughing and playing around on the shore, the next - Van was acting on impulse and stripping off. As I watched her innocence, and realized her intent was to get right in there - in that mystical blue, and be part of the experience, I never noticed the danger swimming towards us.|
|I stood at the water's edge, gazing down and watching as she swam - a magnificent mermaid - through the rippling world of plankton... when, without warning, it happened: a sudden transparent colour in the water, a fleeting glimpse of shock upon a water-rippled face, a stream of air bubbles, and then a terrible instinctive feeling that my Vanessa was doomed!|
was in the water in a flash. Maybe there was a fleeting thought about capability...
water-logged clothes... and purpose... but it was wiped aside by an overwhelming
feeling that my Vanessa was gonna die. Thinking back... I realize
now - it was 'time' and 'fate' as 'hand and arm' which took me in that
moment, and tossed me like a dart into the sea of our possible futures!
In quiet moments late in the evening here in Putney, when I stand alone and watch with a late night drink in hand - the timeless Thames crawling darkly beneath - I realize I did not dive to save her... but to die with her! And I tremble with that shiver which comes when one connects momentarily with an instinctive sense of 'before-life' and 'after-death'...
...or is it just the drink?
As I look into the dark Whisky of my last glass tonight, I see again Vanessa's face slipping, as if asleep and somehow contented, into the lower ocean and away from the bright light of optimism and this temporary reality we call 'life'.
was stilled with cold in the sea. It was an instant thing.
It wasn't the ocean: it was the cold of seeing beloved flesh turn white, and life leaking through lovers lips... ...and me here, 5 yards too short to stop a gasp - which should have been triumphant scream, with eyes wide - not shut, and 2 souls joined by love in the dark - instead of that muted sigh alone.
saw her clearly... dead... the 'half' of me... and knew I was lost!
|And maybe too... I saw a light...|
|...something else: the thing that came and struck 'un-knowing'. To this day, I'd swear I saw that jelly fish flung across the fine divide of species boundaries, clung tight and firm to the lips I'd caressed and explored so lovingly... and oh, so strangely - 'it' giving life! I know this was a special sight - a shadow of reality, a furtive symbol from the mind or of the ocean... who knows?|
|All I knew was - "The jelly-fish which stung her blindly now caressed her strangely... as if to give her breath and hope... as if to save her...!"|
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|(c) Larry Legg, Vanessa Summers, & Lightscape 1998|