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Of love and caves and lives that make my heart sing... - James

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October 30th, 2006


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10:31 pm - Of love and caves and lives that make my heart sing...


...what have I been doing...oh what have I been doing?

I have been neglecting my poor livejournal again, and sad though this may be, it just means that I have all the more to report now.

I have been travelling around the country a bit - as usual I have spent much time in Sydney, and the wonderful news is that my book has been progressing in a very satisfactory manner. Soon, very soon, I may send it to a publisher, and then perhaps the last few years of my life won't have been a complete waste of time.

The above picture was taken at the entrance to an underground cave, hidden in a small town in the mountainous regions of Victoria. I was driving through this town, when I saw a sign, slightly weather-beaten, proclaiming that a "cave and teahouse" was 200 metres on my left. Consumed with curiosity I drove down the little sidestreet, and found the most gorgeous little cottage hiding behind a small cluster of trees, and then down a path behind this cottage was the entrance to the most amazing cave I have seen. It was not its magnitude which astounded me so, rather the diversity of the rock formations contained within - nowhere else have I seen such a collection of stalagtites, stalagmites (I am sorry if I spelt those wrong - these words are generally not in my everyday written vocabulary) and rockpools, all unspoilt by the hands of tourists which are the downfall of its larger cousins.

I then went to the cottage, for tea, wondering why someone would run such a ventue here, of all places, and why this cave was such a beautiful secret.
There was a young couple living there, much to my surprise.

I asked what they were doing in such a place as this, as the writer within me was screaming with curiosity at the twists of life that take people where they do.

The girl explained to me that her grandmother had owned the house her whole life, and her family for generations before that. When she died, this girl had inherited it, as there was no other family left for it to go to. At the time she had been living in Sydney, working unsatisfactory jobs, motivated by the usual forces that drive the world - those of greed, money, power, and the neverending quest for love. Upon recieving notice that she had inherited the house, she had taken a week off work, and driven out to see what mess she had to deal with. Upon seeing the little house however, she had fallen in love with it, and with the little cave hidden behind it. She had spent that week there, and in going through the old lady's things, had found a much-loved easel and set of paints. She had taken these outside, and had set herself up, wearing an old knitted jumper and headscarf, and had started to paint.

In this activity she found a joy which she had never before experienced, a sense of fulfillment and certain love for life. She knew then that she could never go back to working in the city, so then and there she rang her office to inform them that she was resigning.

Weeks later, having quit the city, and upon driving to the cottage to which she had given her heart, she encountered a fierce storm. In the way of things which one never expects to happen to one, her car decided then and there to run out of fuel, and she had none with which to replenish it. She remembered that she had passed a winery not so long ago, so in the rain, and growing dark, she had run along the road trying to find help and shelter, for the notion of spending the night alone in a cold car was for her a more terrifying thought than trying to find help.

After what seemed hours of searching, she found the entrance to this old winery, ran up the oh-too-long driveway to beat upon the door, soaking wet, and shivering from cold. The door was opened by a young man, the youngest son of the family who owned this winery. Upon seeing the girl, soaked as she was, hair plastered to her face, blue lips and desperation pinned upon her face, his heart cried out a tune of sorrow and joy, and he knew that this girl was the woman he would love for the rest of her life. She herself was too exhausted to see anything, and with her near-collapsing, he woke the rest of the household to get her warmed up and into dry clothes, without asking any questions of her.

When she had been sufficiently revived, and sitting at the table in the old kitchen, with cocoa and a warm dressing gown, she told the young man, his sister and parents her story, and with promises of help on the morrow they had sent her to bed.

In the morning, the young man and his father had taken her to where she had left the car with a full can of petrol. The young man was in despair that this girl to whom he had committed his heart was leaving them so soon, but shy as he was, he was unable to confess to her this irrational love which had burst so suddenly in his veins.

By some act of Providence however, it turned out that the rainfall the previous night had been far heavier than they had thought, and in the dark and confusion of the previous evening the girl had left her car in a place by the road which had not been surfaced, so as a result it was bogged down, and could not be moved.

So the girl was invited back to the house while the emergency services were called. The storm however, had caused much damage through the region, and in the scheme of felled trees, powerlines, and roofless houses, emergency services were not concerned with a bogged-down car for the moment.

So it was that the girl had to stay with this family on the winery until such time as help could come. The young man was in anguish as to what to do. Every time he spoke to her his longing for her grew, and every time she looked at him, with a particular half-smile and secrets in her eyes, it was all he could do to contain the words which were desperate to pour out.

Days passed. The girl helped around the winery, and soon the urgency to remove her car and to be on her way was lost. She had a vague desire to reach her little cottage, but for the meantime was content to be surrounded by the people who had unconditionally helped and accepted her, and to offer them what help she could in exchange. Besides, she had become enchanted by the young man who had first opened the door to her, by his shy, well-spoken ways, and by the quick but charged glances that passed between them.

One night she was walking from her bedroom to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, as she could not sleep, when she heard a music coming from an end of the house. One must remember that being an old winery, this house was a large one, with a somewhat rambling structure, with rooms that were seperated entirely from the rest of the house. So it was that her ears led her to one such room, where she opened the door to find the young man at a piano, playing a soft sad song which echoed around the room, filling the corners with sorrow which plucked at the cobwebs, sending the fiercest of spiders scurrying for shelter.

She walked into the room, and he kept playing. She sat on the bench next to him, and in silence he kept playing until the song ended. The melody hung in the silent air, and something unspoken passed between the girl and the young man. They kissed then, softly, and knew that this love was the sort that was true and lasting. They made love then, not speaking, but knowing that by whatever chance had bought about this series of events they had found that love which most people look for in life, but few ever find.

So they moved to the cottage, and living on the small amount from occasional visitors such as I, money from the girl's paintings and inheritance, and the young man's work at the winery, they had a life which was all they could wish for.

I talked to them for hours, and myself stayed the night there, sensing kindred spirits in this couple who I myself found only by chance.

Chance is a things which rules our life, random encounters provide us with meaning, and love is an object of this chance. The story they told me is one which you don't expect to hear outside of the imagination of writers, and so finding it to be true gives hope to those who think that there in no beauty left in the world.

I cannot help it if I am a romantic.
Current Mood: pensivewhimsical
Current Music: clair de lune - debussy

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:spy_cat
Date:October 30th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
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...and your account is exactly 2 years old today...
From:mira_noir
Date:October 30th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
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hi, im mira. im a friend of spy_cat. You have an interesing LJ, and what a moving story. Imagine if the older brother had opened the door....would it have made a difference?
[User Picture]
From:scribemus
Date:October 31st, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
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One can never know...perhaps she would have fallen in love with him, and led an unhappy existance because the wrong person opened the door.
Perhaps that can explain the misery in the world - our doors are opened by the wrong people, and we see only them, while the ones we are fated to be with stand in the background, unnoticed...
From:mira_noir
Date:October 31st, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
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I once opened a door to find one of the most beautiful people i've ever seen, i couldnt breathe. Unfortunately he couldnt speak English and i cant speak Bulgarian so nothing came of it. *sigh*

It appears you have alot of unrequited love angst.
From:marycampbell88
Date:November 1st, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
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dear james,
thanks for "friending" me, it's lovely to meet new people! how strange that I haven't seen you at one of emma's cocktails parties...not even the lj one! oh well, perhaps you are busy writing in some scenic cave :P
its nice to have some romance on lj, your entries are making my friends page more interesting already, mary xoxox

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