We made a routine out of sitting by that cliff edge. We nipped back and forth from our tent as though the cliff, the seamless sky and the sea below it were simply the corner shop or the loo.
I lay back and looked. He was constantly naming stars and constellations, happiest to sit and gaze up. I was constantly discovering all the things I still feel I need to do in my life, things that I probably never will, but somewhere still hold a light to, hoping that one day ... when I'm rich, when my life is different, when I've completed the training, when I'm older and more settled, when I win 35 million on the Lottery.
And we would scuttle back to the tent and sleep or wake or giggle, and then we would be back there again, lying back, gazing upwards, him naming constellations, me discovering yet more things that I still want to do in my life and possibly never will. The list became endless ...
I must go up in a space shuttle and orbit the Earth. I have to fly to the Moon. I want to go to Mars as well. I want to be a rockclimber. A mountaineer. Go paragliding. Own and fly my own bi plane. Do formation dancing whilst strapped to its wing. I've got to climb Everest before I die. I will one day go to Antarctica. Can I live without having stood at least once amongst penguins and ice? I must understand all religions. I want to be wealthy. I must become Enlightened. I want to know Christ; journey to France to live alone with nothing but the clothes on my back. I want to be a mother. I will be a writer. How far off is that journey in a tour bus? What about the record deal? Can I build that home in the desert with my own hands? Will I ever really know what it is like to live as a drunken poet, willing to sacrifice all decency? Where is that great movie script inside me? How can I live to the end of my days without knowing what it's like to be a man? Is there any bird that could bear my weight on its back as it flies across whole continents? Why can't I write a PHD on Quantum Physics? Why do I still think stars are little candles in the sky? Why does my head explode when he tells me that the star I'm looking at isn't a star, but is actually a whole galaxy which itself contains millions upon millions of suns just like our own sun in it, and it is 2.5 million million light years away, with each light year itself being the equivalent of 6 million million miles away?
This cliff edge is strong. It's pulling me out towards the fulmars and the black-backs. Then it's taking me further, out into the inky mass of blackened planets, to where my craving meets my soul and both explode in starlight. These dreams are not the work of idle moments. They live in me like a constant heart beat; most of them since I was a child. Back in those days, so much was fantasy, an unattainable goal. These days it is not always easy to know what is far fetched and what's real. The moon landing or the record deal. The bi plane or the novel. The Big Bang or the Holy Spirit. However, craving, and the vision it brings does not usually possess me as much as it has on this cliff top; on this strange and beautiful cliff of longing.
I look at him. He has some secret I cannot yet discover. He simply watches and looks, his nose edging upwards towards the wings that pass above him. If I could be so content. If I could sit and remember it is all here now - the moon, the stars, the space shuttles and the backs of birds. My dreams are always of travelling, of flying, of taking off, or else they are of being struck down, struck by a lightning bolt that illluminates everything. Do I dream of angels? Yes, sometimes; as much as I dream of dirty bars. Is it here, now? Of course it is.
I like it here. There are no signs of a normal life lived here in these parts. We are happy. Him and me. At the edge. Both of us dreaming, in our own ways.