They have gathered on the beaches: flocks of bikinis and muscles tilting beer to the revolutions of leaping motorbikes and scratch music. City Park is a festival of testosterone and estrogen while body art, all the rage for this generation, is the accessory without which limbs and other parts cannot be displayed.
Kiosks abound like little tents in a medieval market, hawking tattoos, feathered jewellery, and thoughts written on a grain of rice. Freewheeling buskers, the hippies of this age of silicon chips and circuits, ply their trade with open cases petaled with coins. While their cousins, the jugglers and the acrobats, seek an audience to applaud them.
Beneath the overhead sun the world sweats. Children cool themselves in the sailing fountain; or pose all a-giggle on Ogopogo waiting for parents to snap the hundredth photo of the day. A young man passes beneath a shading plane tree, bearing the sweet burden of a paddle board above him, while a couple bathes in the pools of each other’s eyes.
Bernard Street is a cruise of vehicles slowed by human traffic and the need of motored occupants to gawk and gape at the milling eddies of colour, sound and morphing shapes. Past the paddle wheeled ship, along the esplanade where the blue grizzly and the patient sailboats wait, the crowded stream of humanity slackens. Roller skaters glide with care, babies gaze bewildered from four-wheeled nests, and society saunters.
This boulevard for feet is the eye at The Centre of Gravity. And on the other side is a public house, electric with the chattering din of robust youth. Fueled by spirits and organic volts, they are penned behind an iron fence, six feet high, out of reach from who knows what. Perhaps from the girls in sashes, shorts and bikini-tops celebrating the risqué stagette of a blonde haired friend; a girl from whose golden locks a bridal veil descends while in her arms she holds, the inflated image of a naked man with apparatus in full extension.
Who are we, among the frazzled crowds of summer? – We fearful bits of clay; hinting at the secret stories of our souls. Who are we, amid the carousing swarms? – We strangers yearning to be known; we creatures without a fulcrum.
At The Centre of Gravity we are the frothing bubbles in an iron pot boiling. At the centre of gravity we are swans on the still water, gliding.