Pink rocks and blue pools

“The fool who is aware of his foolishness is therefore like a wise man.
But a fool who thinks he is wise is called a fool indeed.
A fool who, as long as he lives, attends to a wise man,

he doesn’t know the doctrine, as the spoon doesn’t know the soup’s flavour.
If a discerning person attends to a wise man even for a second,
he swiftly knows the doctrine, like the tongue knows the soup’s flavour”
                                                                             – ‘Bala vaga’ of the Dhammapada

After 14 kilometres hiking all I feel is my breath and the soles of my feet. I stop, rest, sip water, readjust my heavy pack and start off again. At the base of my back all I feel is agony. I concentrate, take step after weary step, hoping that I can transcend the pain. It is after all only reality, and there are only 4 kilometers more to go. Perhaps next time a shorter walk and reverie.

On the next scorching hot day we decide instead to hike to little known rock pools nearby. We cross the searing basalt. It is low tide. No point coming here when the tide is full. These pools are hidden then, like some local knowledge is from prying eyes.

The grey black basalt slowly as we walk becomes interspersed with pink dykes and extrusions that have forced through their way to the surface when it was a hot volcanic hell here. Precise steps are needed. I have little feeling between my knee and ankle in one leg after multiple operations. Although it might be impossible to fall off a mountain, I have broken enough bones around these shoreline already.

I dive into the blue of the deepest pool and plunge sinking into its depths before I start to slowly rise. It must be at least 20 feet deep. It is revitalisingly cold. Reaching the surface I can feel the salt water draining through my hair and beard and I start to smile. This place has its own flavour. Every day, and with every step I become a little wiser.

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All photos taken with an Olympus 35-S rangefinder on Ektar 100 and developed in the Unicolor C41 kit.

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