Monday, February 6, 2012

In the wind, lost in the storm

I rode all weekend. Sometimes I took it slow, sometimes fast. And standing at the end of a day, listening to my exhausts tick tick with their dying heat, I felt the hot miles dissipate into the cool of memory.

Saturday gave no warning of what was to come. Everything was water and calm.

Even the scorched places were a blessing. I moved through the heat of the day, through town and town, through three centuries of brickwork and wheels.

And stripping back the land to its essence I made for roads of dirt, hoping to erase the city's imprint.

Just as sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live when you were young. Dust, dirt, heat, meaning.

And in the cool of that evening the lake where I used to swim.

Then night. Then the next day. Passing those same waters - heading south this time - I didn't realise what it was, turning the horizon an ominous ochre and pink. I thought nothing of it. And yet it grew, and grew.

Burning the highway skyline was a hurricane of wind that started turning when the day was young. A hot fury of dust.

I could try to outrun it, but I thought I would instead let it wash over me like a Lawrentian desert dream.

I stopped and looked over the horizon.

My back was to the bike as I looked out over this nervous water. When I turned...

I did not photograph what followed. I jumped on my motorcycle and wound the speedometer out. The sky in front and behind, like a giant pincer, turned black. And then it hit. And tried to rip me from the road. The dust, however blinding, was a mere colouring for the invisible wind which was the real strength of the storm, punching like a giant fist of gusts. I turned away from an arrow-head of storm front and desperately retreated only to meet with another piercing front. To my left was a road disappearing down the shore of the lake and in desperation I followed it to an embankment where I hid out the worst of the storm, my eyes full of dust.

After the storm's passing, a dirty calm.

And a motorcycle still standing.

After the storm the day was still young and there were many quiet adventures left. With optimism, and dust in everything, I made south in an endless rush of clean wind.

1 comment:

  1. Such drama! Wonderful pictures. So different from where I live. Thanks for taking me with on your trip down memory lane.