Do you ever have those moments—when you pick up a rock that’s a bit too fat and dented on one side, but had a shimmer like no other? You look at the water, glimmering and rippling with lascivious delight in front of you. “You’ll never do it,” she laughs, in aqueous joviality. “It’s been much too long. You’ve surely forgotten.”
But something makes you do it anyways. Your arm snaps back, gearing up with 10 years of compounding potential energy, and let’s it rip, sending the forlorn piece of slate off into the distance.
That’s so too how I felt when buying a snap-decij Ryanair flight to Greece. Some friends from University were making the leap—trekking across Eastern Europe with nothing but a one-way ticket, taking ‘locals only’ buses through passerbys’ recommendations, living on the edge of certainty. “Come to Corfu,” they said. “We’ve room for one more.” My finger hovered over the yellow-blue application icon. Credit cards declined due to travel notices. But the ocean air whipped away declining digits and lightened pockets, blew them out of sight with its salty exhales.
On the flight back from Corfu, I collapsed into the seat. Pant lining met aircraft interior, and my consciousness disintegrated. A couple with kind eyes and tanned visages gently tapped me awake, I arose for but a few seconds to let them by before falling once again into a deep slumber.
The stillness awoke me. Soaring thousands of miles in the air, sitting in a nebulous ottoman. The pair who’d entered the aisle now sat beside me, chatting softly. The woman laughed, and my eyes met hers. I apologized for my delayed return to consciousness, the result of a weekend’s concoction featuring 3.50€ cooking wine and a group of close friends.
And so it began. Two sine waves aligned in place and temporality, shoved together by decisive ricochets from bright-eyed globe-trotters and budget airline random seating.
Sometimes life blesses you with rarities. Sometimes stepping on the opposite side of the sidewalk gives way to unbeknownst stalagmites encapsulating the most precious of gems. More often than not, I find that those rarities come about by the winds of change. Taking fate by her reigns, and galloping out into the black night.
SoccerPractise knows this story well. Their opening track ‘Windfall’ tells it quite aptly—of wedding and bedding unbridled curiosity, of serendipitous licenciousness, of quieting the mind through hearing the body. Of the means by which we navigate nefarious encroachments upon the connective tissue that makes us human.
“You must remember it’s a secret,” they whisper, through orchestra-forefronted tape loops. Subdued jungly beats egg on drum-circle handclaps, desolate guitars melodies cry out from the desert beyond. New buildings stretch in front of you, covering the dust left by past families. “A city of seagulls is a city of cranes,” sings G. Alexander. The winds blow her voice into the distance, reinstating change as the mother of us all.
The couple spoke to me about this sort of change in New Zealand. Not of urban change, but of change spurred by earth’s own maternal. Of the impact it had on the people, on bodies and minds. “And why do you stay?” I ask. “I am needed there.” He says, and his eyes say the same. I hear of the pain, but I see the kindness. I feel the warmth, the bright positivity.
Tapes click and voices echo. Metronomes click to a stop. But hands sit in one another’s, warm reverberations amidst the clutter. “Shh, be alright,” say the eyes.