Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Ocean Helps Me Remember

Another short piece of my writing has just been published on Writers in the Mist, this time springing from the prompt: The ocean helps me remember.

In this instance two things came to mind: 

Firstly, what Jay Griffiths wrote in Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (1999), a book I highly recommend, about the ocean being linked with time:

The sea, clock of ages, is full of time. In the tide’s ebb and flow the sense of the moment is critical, but it is the coasts which are affected by tides, not the ocean depths, so while the sea, at its shoreline, represents the now of events, yet the paradox of the ocean is that in its depths it is the symbol of eternity … The everlasting consolation of the sea is not all will be well, but all will endure. To Western scientists, the sea is the source of life. In Taoist thought, similarly, the ocean is equated with the Tao, the primordial and inexhaustible source, ‘informing at creation without being exhausted’. Jainist thought of the sixth century BCE describes an ‘ocean of years’ being one hundred million times one hundred million palyas. Each palya is a period of countless years. Otis Redding picked the right place, ‘sittin’ at the dock of the bay, wastin’ ti-ai-ai-ime’, for the sea is creator of endless hours of time. And this is why polluted dead seas are so shocking, for it suggests the poisoning of both the actual sea and the conceptual source of time itself. (p. 9)

And if the ocean is the source of time, I then imagined it as the source of memory too.

Secondly, I thought of a short interview with mythologist Dr Martin Shaw I had recently watched, called 'Trailing the Gods Back Home', in which he spoke of the idea of ‘bone memory’. You can find the video here.

Please do head over to Writers in the Mist to read my short piece by clicking here.


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