The Charm And The Fury

As human beings we tire of our man-made environments. We will always choose the new and the bold over stagnation. We are always drawn to the living. When we are caught in a cycle where our senses are dulled by the predictable man-made shelters which encompass each of us; A healthy human spirit will always turn to seek the living. That which has a “life force”. Those things which give us the opportunity to wonder again. All this is found in the natural world, and at the pinnacle we find the sea.

If the course of my life gives me the chance to live by the sea, I will surely do so. Each time I have had contact with our oceans and seas, I have been given new awakenings. An exquisite new piece of this powerful force to take with me for contemplation. On each return visit I can exchange it for a different piece. This process seemingly perpetual.

The sea, this magnetic force with my soul. Ancient, but strong and brimming with life even as within its depths death is not uncommon. When I ponder these things I can't help but be reminded of one of my favorite little books: The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. In the story we see the similarities between man and the sea so powerfully and simply written. The description of Santiago the fisherman tells this well: “Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.”

The sea, always containing all at once both the charm and the fury. But no matter the state it is in it somehow never seems to be doing wrong. On the contrary it seems to be always driven in its duties by a mysterious love. Always welcoming, it calls us out to do what we need to do; the fisherman, the adventurers, and the poets. At the same time the sea and its creatures say with love: “We are doing all that we need to do. As we desire and are commanded.”

“I wish I could describe the feeling of being at sea, the anguish, frustration, and fear, the beauty that accompanies threatening spectacles, the spiritual communion with creatures in whose domain I sail. There is a magnificent intensity in life that comes when we are not in control but are only reacting, living, surviving. I am not a religious man per se. My own cosmology is convoluted and not in line with any particular church or philosophy. But for me, to go to sea is to get a glimpse of the face of God. At sea I am reminded of my insignificance- of all men's insignificance. It is a wonderful feeling to be so humbled.” Steven Callahan- Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea.

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4 Responses Jul 17, 2010

I know. Try evacuating an oil rig in a hurricane... I'll never forget that either.

I understand your passion for the sea completely. I lived on boats for more than eight months out of the year for six years and it truly WAS an adventure! There were certain conditions when the 110 to 150 ft crewboats that I worked on would sail through the air coming off of 12 to 14 ft waves and when that happened, I'd just lock my feet into the foot bar of the captain's chair and ride the waves like a mechanical bull... we 'boat people' referred to that as 'doin' life'! It was great!

I too, love the Ocean. Every year when I make a trip to the West I spend a little time with the Blue Pacific. I tell her things I haven't told any one else and I feel she can see my soul. She also takes care of my Fathers ashes and with them give life to new creatures both great and small. Her waves meeting against the sand in either a mild caress or a full blown tempst. Like two lovers, the sand feels and hears her heartbeat. I let her waters embrace me and with that I feel a cleansing of heart, mind, and soul.

The passion you have for the sea, is almost palbable, I love the ocean as well it was nice to read this posting of a kindred spirit, you can almost picture a water spirit rising upout of the depths and beconing to all to come live the experience