Friday, December 1, 2006

Just give in to the ocean, the only way to tame your fear, is to feel her rocky motion Maybe it’s because I grew up a stone’s throw from the rolling seas of Scotland that I’ve always loved the ocean. It’s got a hold on me that’s totally unshakable. It comforts my mind and soothes my soul. When I need to clear my thoughts, the only place to be is staring out at the murky indigo water, lapping back and forth. When I fight with loved ones, and salty tears abound, there is solace there. When I go jogging beside it in the morning, I inhale its energy and somehow I can run faster, breathe more deeply. When I lived in Los Angeles I would sit on the empty winter beach in Santa Monica, staring out at the Pacific, looking for answers to questions that would otherwise go unanswered. I would see shapes turn into shadows, turn into nothing, but maybe something. Being Scottish I am enthralled by folklore. When reading Seal-Folk and Ocean Paddlers - Sliochd nan Ròn by John MacAulay, I was suddenly transported to another time, huddled next to a fire, listening to his tales of the magical seal people of the Orkney and Shetland Isles in the far north of Scotland. The tale is that seals could assume human form, but could not return to the sea without their sealskin belts. It is believed that the male Selkies are responsible for storms and also for the sinking of ships, which is their way of avenging the hunting of seals. I just spoke to my mother in Scotland. She held the phone to the wind, which was, she said, an icy gust coming in from the Firth. Suddenly I felt as though I was there, beside the water, with the wind whipping through my hair, whilst I drew strength from the eternal motion of the lashing waves.

1 comment:

Ed Z said...

The ocean has always amazed, comforted, and frightened me. One of the best nights sleep in my life was on a sailboat in the Virgin Islands. I was 16 and with my family so I didn’t really want to be there, but when I closed my eyes it was like being in a cradle. I couldn’t believe how soundly I slept.