April 01, 2007

Sharks are not predators of humans, just fish.

In my last entry, Peter had just said that he had something other than going clubbing in mind, and I asked what that was…

“A visit to and walk on the beach.”

“Sounds fantastic.”

“Bring your camera. Surfs up. The water and clouds are beautiful.”

“Are you going to wear a suit so you can go in.”

“No, the wind is still blasting out of the east as it has been for a week now, and it’s bringing in the nasty man-o-war guys. There have also been shark sightings all week. Seems they’re headed north along the coast.”

Sharks aren’t dangerous.”

“Unless you happen to be in the way when they’re chasing their food – then, snap and you’ve lost a limb that the fellow may spit out because he doesn’t like your flavor.”

“Okay, I’ve got the picture. Still, I’ll bet we see people in that heavy surf because the water temperature is up to 76 degrees, and the snow birds like me think that’s incredibly warm.”

“Probably, but I plan on walking in bare feet through the surf and sand down to the ancient reef, soaking in the rays, and taking some pictures. Bring your camera.”

I did take the camera along, and I’ve included a couple of the photographs here. It was a beautiful day with puffy cumulous clouds blowing in off the aqua and green ocean. The sun is getting very strong now, like mid to late summer sun at home in Pennsylvania, but stronger because the air is cleaner here. South Florida has no industry other than taking care of us old folks the Yankee snowbirds – frisking our pockets clean is more like it - but thay's another story (see entries for 01-14-07 & 02-14-07).

There I go talking to myself again. Ah well, Peter and I had a great afternoon despite my grumpy disposition. Seems I find it impossible to be grumpy when I’m with him. We laugh a lot and the intellectual content of our conversation tends to be in the rather rarified upper troposphere.

I’ve spoken of Peter’s good looks in the past. Sunday he wore only a long pair of shorts, and walked on the beach bare foot so as to get some color. He often splashed through the edge of the boiling surf, and I had trouble appreciating the beauty of the beach, ocean, and clouds because I couldn’t help but drink in the magnificence of his extremely well made corporeal self. I think he knew that my eyes and camera constantly wondered back to him because he often struck a pose and I took many photographs of him walking, running, and playing on the beach, none of which shall appear here, dear journal.

I couldn’t help but dwell on the fleeting beauty of youth, so often compared to the bloom of a rose because of its short-lived splendor - and, I stood envying the youth, wanting it all back again. Yes, I wanted to possess him as well, another way to incorporate that golden splendor within my own ageing and failing body. Like a predatory vampire, I wanted to drink of that beauty and possess it completely, however fleetingly.

I do not glory in that desire however, recognizing its predatory implications. I love Peter because of who he is inside, the quality of his character, his sweet disposition, the way he cares for others, his intelligence. The physical body is the container for all that – fleeting God-given blessing. The young must be allowed to enjoy their physical strength and beauty thoroughly as it will be gone in an instant. An old man may envy magnificence and vigor. However, a love based on that envy is something to be spurned, and the fire must be dampened.

I’m not sure how to live with these thoughts and feelings, but I will until God sees fit to call me away from them.

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