Finally, coronavirus restrictions are being lifted. As I reflected on the trials of the last year, one word sprung to mind: ‘Chaos’. I asked our contributors to use this word as the stimulus for their creative juices, this month. I hope you enjoy what Georgia came up with!
It was the definition of tranquility – a modern, luxurious hotel planted at the foot of Castle Hill and mouth of Ross Creek with an idyllic view of the Great Barrier Reef. The hotel surpassed expectation for all tourists who set foot in the marble floored entrance hall. The word ‘average’ never appeared on the travel reviews, let alone ‘poor’ or ‘unsatisfactory’. Visitors were ‘in awe of the natural beauty of the area’, ‘blown away by the professionalism of staff and service received during their stay’. With in hours of arriving, holiday makers flounced around the candle lit restaurant as if it was their second home, feasting on grilled rarities, roasted delicacies. They hailed taxis to chauffer them down the driveway to the bay so that they could get a natural photo of their sun-kissed physique on the pearl sands. It looked immaculate. The sea was never choppy, the air always dappled with the equitable quantity of vitamins for one’s complexion. Each morning, they awoke to the sound of the laughing kookaburra as their room service breakfast was promptly delivered. Each evening, they strolled along the shoreline to a back drop of dolphins frolicking in the tidy sea. At the end of their stay, they boarded their planes with bags full of souvenirs and minds full of superlative snapshots, leaving behind wispy contrails in the sky. And footprints on the flawless beach.
And the occasional wine bottle which rolled down the driveway and onto the unsullied sand. It might crush a baby turtle on the way, suffocate another as it tries to scurry into the bottle to hide from a raucous group of spiffy suit-wearers. Waves of jet skis may drag the bottle into the water, force it to tumble and crash, cyclitic with the rush hidden below the surface. Shards of glass may shatter and splinter when hurled against resting rocks. The glass may lay corpse-like on the seabed, yet in its death still capable to draw blood from the fin of a passing fish. Or it may blitz around the reef, scathing the skin of seahorses, piercing porpoises, deceiving the delicate and infecting every iota of the vast sea.
It is then that you realise the kookaburra cried, not laughed. The dolphins tried to escape, not dance. And it is then that you realise those manipulated memories manufactured for the minority dwindle briefly in the minds of men or media page, but linger longer on the land we live on. Under the veneer of serenity storms catastrophe. Casualty. Chaos. The world coughs and splutters from the careless ignorance of those with the greatest power to protect it. It screams silently and gasps for air not plagued by pollution.
Yet still disregard spreads like a virus, and before long it is not just nature crying for help. How we wished we’d listened. Acted sooner. Avoided the chaos.
Featured image courtesy of nikko macaspac via unsplash.com. Image license can be found here. Article image courtesy of Sarah McAllan. For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.