Clifford: Durban

201 x 149 narrative

On a holiday alone with my mother — I think I was about 6 or 7 years old — at a farm near Dargle, a hundred kilometers or so from Durban, I rode a horse for the first time. In fact I didn’t just ride a horse, I insisted on remaining in the saddle the whole day. The next day my mother took me on a walk using the many paths one finds in hills carved by people and animals. When it was time for a midday snack my mother, a very accomplished Australian woman who grew up on a farm near Melbourne, picked a large wild mushroom and then kindled a fire with which to heat smooth, rounded rocks. She placed the mushroom on these now-hot rocks and we sat watching together as it sizzled in its juices. Its aroma has stayed with me. We broke the mushroom into pieces, as one might break bread, and had a truly scrumptious meal. When I make mushroom omelettes it is almost as if I am eating with my mother once again, around hot stones on a warm afternoon.

Clifford: Toronto

201 x 149 narrative

An awakening to move as a young adult, from what has been my home, a home where leaves remain green all year, to a new home where leaves form rainbows of colour each Fall. A colour-bow that crunched underfoot and was given voice by breezes. To a place where water can form musical icicles on leafless branches once Fall gives way to Winter. This path through woods, in an archipelago of islands surrounded by fresh clear lakes, in a vast wilderness that is my Canada, reminds me not only of beautifully quilted spaces, but of the eerie sounds of loons through the trees and I imagine them moving, with only the faintest wakes, across a still lake.

Clifford: Muizenberg

150 x 102 narrative

Some of my most iconic memories are of oceans. Feeling ocean breezes touch my face and tousle my hair, exploring rock pools with waving anemones touched by tides, tiny fish swimming through my fingers, sitting on rocks as waves crash around them, watching electrical storms light up dark seas, anchored ships from far away lands, feeling the power of the ocean directly on my body, surfing with dolphins, whales performing incredible acrobatics, feeling sand squeeze between my toes, and views, magnificent views of the watery beauty of my home, the tiny pale blue dot pictured by Voyager 1 on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, in 1990, from 6.4 billion kilometres away as it moved beyond the fringes of our solar system.