It eventually came quick and fast the wet fish of our new reality thwacking us in the faces. Darth Vader popped up out of the Maelstrom in a reverse gravity swoosh with the final accompanying sound plop, or the sound your mouth makes when you pull your finger out against your cheek, pop. The compass had flipped. The boat and occupants were on their way happily sailing over the horizon to find new lands to explore when a Maelstrom, out of nowhere, sucked them into it’s dark watery core. Before they had time to think in a mad torrent of wind and sea and lighting flashes (insert scene from a sci fi ocean movie of yesteryear) it spat them out again. It’s pallet had disapproved and the beast or whirlpool had vanished as soon as it had come. Only a diminishing foamy simmer was left and their hats still remained on their heads and not a droplet of water sat on their coats.

In their binoculars a new land appeared and their hearts lifted, time for adventures. Coming closer the land reminded them very much of the land they had left. There was a toy city with a tower to the sky, a coat hanger bridge, a number of volcanoes and a pink sugar factory. In fact it looked distinctly similar, too familiar. How could it be ? They had been following the compass North?

They arrived in confusion to what appeared to be the same dock with what appeared to be the same tired lines but something intangible was afoot. There was a lot of talking coming from the streets. The Owl and the Cat, being animals, couldn’t quite make out what everyone was saying and decided for the meantime to head below decks. They would wait until they could grasp a complete translation and work out if this was a new land or in fact another. Not wanting to face the latter query they distracted themselves with little tasks of importance such as ordering their ‘cabin of curiosities’ (a collection of specimens from their travels) and counting the honey stocks which were hidden in random order in the bilges of the wooden boat. Supplies could be eked out but not for long.

The Owl contacted his parents, readers of newspapers, and it was confirmed that this was the same land but a new world with new rules and new dangers. The same land but a new dimension. Our heads whirl. Someone had eaten a black magical and poisoned bat that had opened Pandora’s box or something like that. “We feel for the bat” said the Cat, to the Owls parents, while adjusting her hat. “The bat was forced out of his flat, it’s habitat, and had to live life with a species of rat and feral cat”. In this new habitat, a construct of human animals, the natural turned unnatural and mutated and spread. But lets leave that there or we will be filled with dread or terrible rhymes which are equally….

So adjusting their sails the furry and feathered untethered their lines and sailed out to sea. They did not know the destination but it had occurred in their heads, which rushed too fast with blood, that being out on the water would be the place to be. Their craft could sustain them and they would be ready and waiting to help if help was needed to the beings of this new reality. They sailed far to the Mokohinaus with it’s Sphinx rocks and Lizard Isle. They marvelled at the true beauty which suddenly was laid raw and blazing in their eyes. They charged head first into fishing, never had the pair been better at fishing, and planting sprouts and preserving quince. Then fearing these islands were perhaps too isolated sailed back to the great island Aotea and Port Fitzroy. Most importantly now they needed to remain connected to check in with loved ones, the news and the moral of others, and the bay had a cellphone tower. They both felt bizarre, upended and uneasy and with a manic blown up desperation to hug and be with people (love is a force we have ignored for too long). This was a strange new world indeed. To calm their hearts they sent messages in bottles through the radio waves to other boats. A radio station was formed for 08.00 hours on VHF channel 8. Listening in one can hear the Owl’s short winded spiel about weather and about tides about longing and love and the opening status of the local shop-Which the locals had been guarding with pitch forks. A community check in and exchange of information ‘Rahui Radio’ amateur radio was born.

So it is day 8 of the *Rahui. The Rahui of the humans or the ones pretending to be animals wearing masks, on their heads, or a new species which wears ones over their mouths. Darth Vader sits unmoving at anchor, sails lowered, in a safe spot with other boats in some celestial configuration dotted around. The Cat is now breathing normally as shallow breaths were first taken in the new cleaner air but with a conflicting phychosis of thought that pollution, disease and contagion were present. How the mind can affect the body! The Owl and Cat have woke settled today and proceed to get on calmly with little chores, or the Owl is. The Cat seems to be planning 1000 art projects, so she doesn’t have to polish the stainless steel. Freedom has a new meaning “You cant take our lives but you can take our freedom” and we fear the notion may be changed forever. We can hear out here in our restricted paradise nature breathing a big sigh of relief and we hope that now is the time for this strange new world to turn out, one day, to be one that is better. Love, hope and humour rule the day.

*Rahui- Maori

A prohibition against a particular area or activity, typically one in force temporarily in order to protect a resource.

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