The Sea's Cadence
What is it about the sea?
This picture was taken during sunset at Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. I played with the white balance of my Olympus digital camera, which is why it is so blue. Trust me, sunsets don't actually look like that. But I loved the way the picture came out and have printed this shot and framed it.
I stood on the balcony of my motel room when I took the picture. The room was lovely, cozy with a single bed, a small television and--best of all, aside from the balcony overlooking the ocean--a fireplace. I was staying at the beach for the night of June 30, 2003, by myself, and not paying nearly as much for the room as I felt I should have been, given its quality and the time of the year. I wasn't complaining, though, and instead was loving the hell out of it.
I have a great affinity for the sea. It makes me calm and happy, serene. I have no interest in swimming in the ocean, understand. I do not go to the beach in pursuit of various water activities or with the desire to build sand castles. No, what I want is to stand on the sand, not far from the water line, and just watch the waves, completely mesmerized and fascinated. I want to watch the water go in and out and in and out and to slowly, over the course of hours, change where exactly it is going in and out. I want to sit on rocks and dig my hands into the sand, to watch seagulls and other silly birds play in the water and to listen to the never-ending roar of the sea. I want to walk the coastline, to look up at the cliffs and the houses on those cliffs, to watch kites in the sky and sit on driftwood. All of those things I want to do when I go to the coast.
There is something overwhelmingly lovely about the ocean. The waves move rhythmically and powerfully, in and out in a hypnotizing fashion, with the sense that this is time everlasting. The ocean reminds me of just how ancient and sturdy this planet is and it's always awe-inspiring to look out over the expanse of slate-gray-blue and try to understand the sheer size and depth--the incomprehensible immensity of the Pacific Ocean. That is a lovely experience that leaves my mind floating, buoyed, detached and yet alive. How to explain what it is to stand and watch the waves as they come in, as they go out, to watch wave after wave with never a real break in sight? How to explain how wonderful it is to feel the spray of the ocean on my face or to watch the water break violently against rock outcroppings, to shoot into the air and churn and whirpool and fill every crack and cranny it can find? I love the flexibility--the liquidity--of the sea. I love the way that it can never be stopped but merely diverted to another path. It is tireless and insurmountable. You can feel the universe in the ocean.
There have been so many times I've stood for hours on the beach, staring off into the water and lost in thought. There is something beyond inspiring about the sea. I feel so alive and creative, invigorated and grounded. At the risk of sounding silly and metaphysical, the sea connects me to the earth, which in turns relaxes my mind and my body, leaves me feeling better able to face life.
It's the sound. It's the cadence. I can watch and listen to the simple rhythm of the waves for hours and hours, particularly if the waves are cascading over rocks. I can't explain why it is so fascinating and consuming for me, but it is. The sea is life. It is inspiration. It is more than I can ever say and while it can never be captured in a photograph, looking at the above picture gives me the vaguest sense of the sea, which is a pretty damn nice feeling in and of itself.