Monday, July 28, 2008

Why She Swallows Bullets And Stones

With words and pictures we try to capture moments of real life, so that we may re-live them and share them with others, keeping the past alive for infinity. Holding on.
Sometimes we attempt to create or re-create this magic, but most of the time it is born of its own free will.
It can be hard to adequately replicate these moments, these feelings, this atmosphere, when you are both simultaneously the author and subject.
I feel that I have experienced so many uncatchable, indescribeable events within my lifetime that it sometimes feels quite alienating, in that my ability, or maybe the ability of human language and expression is unable to do them justice.
I feel that behind every piece of art I construct, or every artistic act I take part in is the desire to portray and convey these feelings in such a way that they become almost visible to the outside world.
At times it feels as if I am trapped within my own body, trying to break free of the shell.
Last year something happened to me that I feel changed my life.
Although this event was something significant to me not many people know that it even happened.
Sometime afterwards I attempted to write an account of my experience as I felt it was something that I really needed to share and give life to, but this injustice of words has so far prevented me from doing so.
The following is taken from that original piece of writing.

This film was shot on my 24th birthday.

When you want something badly enough you shall make it happen.

You can sit there for an eternity, thinking of reasons not to follow your heart. Some of these reasons may seem perfectly rational, but they never amount to nothing more than excuses. They are a reflex reaction of your mind, to your fears and your opposing desires whenever you are faced with a new pathway or situation.

Our bodies do not limit us. We are unlimited.

I wished to swim in the March sea.

Cold water is like plunging your eyes into bright light when you are used to pitch darkness, but each time you return, you learn to let it be as it wants to be.
The journey across the stones was a blur, is a blur.
There was a strange stillness in the air that hung over me.
The sun low in the sky, illuminated the tangled body of the fallen pier, and all was calm.
I swam out a little further towards the horizon, and then stopped, with my back to the shoreline the only sound was of my breathing as I trod water.
It was beautiful.

Never have I felt so alone and yet so at peace.
I had reached the end of the world as the last man alive. All that was left for me to do was swim into the sun, but something so small, so quiet inside told me no.
I looked round and saw she beaconed from the beach, so I begun to make my way back.
At this point I had been in the water almost ten minutes.
By the time I reached the shallows my legs could no longer support my body and buckled beneath me onto the stones.
Hands closed into fists as the cramp crept in, and I drag myself from the waves.
Something's not right. I manage to stand as if for the first time, but I am also unable to speak. She cradles me in a towel.
My mind and my body have begun to shut down, but I still have enough awareness to recognise this.
A few words fall from my mouth, but what I think and what I am able to say are distant relatives.
Call an ambulance I tell her, I do not feel cold.
Somehow through uncontrollable shivering I have put my clothes back on.
As I stand, barefoot on the towel waiting for the paramedics to arrive I no longer feel afraid.
They run a number of checks on me and I feel well enough to go back to the nearby hotel where we are staying.
No sirens, no silver foil, just a thin coating of salt on my skin.
That night I find it hard to sleep, the sea is in me, nothing will ever be the same.
From the moment I decided I would swim in the Atlantic on March ninth it set something in motion. I don't know what, but I feel it.
I plan to go back someday, I just don't know when.

They say that one of the symptoms of hypothermia is poor judgement and the loss of a sense of urgency.

This is my first video.

This is a true story.


Brad said...

Dispel the rational constrictions and free the world Elliot. Breathe peace into us through art, because we know humility when we see it. We know beauty when we see it.

Was it Joy on the beach?

Aaron said...

It's been ages since I've heard anything from you! What have you been up to?

A :)

Eightyeightdays said...

My time in the sea there was one of those moments that are so great you wish everyone was there to share in the experience, but at the same time I just bathed in it alone.

Recently I've been so focused on school studies and training that I haven't set aside time to reply to my now inevitable backlog of messages. I also began a fairly detailed write up of my adventures and experiences this year, but it's a long process. When the autumn weather is as nice as it is now, I feel I owe it to myself to spend as much time outside as I can!

Bradley Moss. said...

hey Eliot, Brad from Essex here, I miss you man! I enjoyed reading this and your thoughts still, my training and direction is still adapting and changing, just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts and stay in touch mate, hopefully train with you soon!