Friday, June 7, 2013

The Sea

My Beach
Today is World Ocean’s Day. In honor of this momentous event, my friend Cris, who writes two wonderful blogs, asked those of us who also blog to post something that she could share with others. I have wanted to post a blog about my love of the sea for some time, so I thought today would be the appropriate time. Because other writers have also loved the sea, I decided to structure it around my five favorite quotes on the subject and tell you all why these quotes mean as much to me as they do.

5: “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.”
-- John Masefield
Not only do I love the sea, I love to be on it. While any kind of boat will do, there is nothing like having the tiller of a sailboat in your hands. It is the ultimate communication between man and nature because, as a sailer, you are entirely dependent on the wind and the tides. You can manipulate them and you can use them to get where you are going, but finally you need to work with them to move forward. A wonderful metaphor for how life should be lived.

4: “Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”
-- Lucy Montgomery
This has been one of my favorite quotes since I first read Anne of Green Gables. It reminds me that the mad rush to accumulate stuff finally doesn’t matter. What does matter is my “scope for the imagination” and my “bosom friends.” Going down to look at the sea is a wonderful way to put what really matters into perspective.

3: “To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
I love this quote because it reminds me to do something every day. Move forward, don’t sit still and don’t allow life to make your decisions for you. Sail.

2: "The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”
-- Kate Chopin
I love to swim. Put me near a body of water and I am in it. There is nothing that compares, however, with swimming in the sea. It is fun to play in the waves, diving under and coming up or jumping over, feeling the freedom of flight for several brief seconds. While I have a healthy respect for the sea, I have never been afraid of it and love nothing better than to be part of it, however briefly.

1: “The cure for anything is salt water -- sweat, tears, or the sea.”
-- Isak Dinesen
Not only is this my favorite quote about the sea, it is probably my favorite quote of all time. Why? Because Dinesen sums up perfectly how one should live. When life becomes too much, too hard, too stressful, too sad, it is easy to wallow in the pain and to sink into self-pity. This is a solution that, I have found, never works. Instead, one should work hard to fix the problem (sweat); sit down, have a good cry and then get over it (tears); and, finally, one should go listen to the surf and look at the horizon (sea). Looking out over a surf puts everything into perspective and the rhythmic sound of the surf can bring one’s blood pressure back to a much more manageable state. Trust me, it works every time.

To read about other's experiences with the seas, click here. Thanks, Cris, for organizing this.


  1. It's up!!! You can include the link now in your post:

  2. Beautiful post Chris! :o)

    Each of these quotes speaks to me in a similar way... I think we share very similar feelings about the sea! (We definitely have more in common than just our initials! ;o)) I would add something about the magical sensation that is being submerged in the water, being able to feel a part of that environment, even for a little while... I often get frustrated with scuba diving because one can only spend so much time underwater before being obliged to head back up to the surface. But that short period of time is more than worth it! :o)

    *sigh* I had planned to celebrate World Oceans Day tomorrow by going for my first swim in the Mediterranean this year, perhaps even do some snorkeling at "my" beach... but this damn cold is going to keep me on dry land! Oh well, it's just put off by a week. I can't wait to submerge myself in the blue waters of the Mediterranean!!!

    Thanks for participating in the Oceanic Blog-A-Thon Chris!!!

    1. Thank you for organizing it! I wanted to swim tomorrow as well, but will have to postpone as I am working all day. Maybe next week.

      Feel better soon!

    2. Work is a valid excuse... Hopefully we'll both get to dive into the salty waves soon! :o)

  3. I know I'm going to bring the tone down but the sea is also a wonderful hangover cure! Cleanses the mind and soul.

    1. I couldn't agree more. Submersion in salt water cures any ill, especially a hangover!

    2. Definitely!!! Nothing clears the head like a morning swim! Except I usually have mine in the pool, a bit easier to get to that the beach when I have a hangover... :p

  4. I miss living by the beachhhhh. Ugh. I'm only about 30 miles inland, but with LA traffic that can easily mean two hours. Or more. And that's to get to a crappy beach.

    My favorite ocean experience ever: I was swimming off of Point Dume (favorite beach ever) and I bumped into a dolphin. Literally. I was swimming and I bumped into something and I thought it was another swimmer, which didn't make much sense because I wasn't super close to anyone. When I got out of the water, I saw the dolphins swimming in the surf and I was like...oh. I guess it was a dolphin. Awesome.

    I'm a water sign and I swear I can feel my stress level when I get closer to the ocean. I was in Venice (beach, not Italy) today and it's just like the second I smell the salt in the air I can let things go. Does anyone want to lend me copious amounts of money so I can move closer to the ocean? Anyone? Bueller?

    Great piece Chris. :) Love the Chopin quote.

    1. How cool is that? Swimming with dolphins is most definitely on my bucket list.

      I love Venice Beach. If I ever wanted to live on the West Coast, that would be my first choice. Of course, Venice, Italy is pretty awesome as well...

    2. Venice isn't my favorite. It's fun once in a while but it would be way too hectic to deal with everyday (for me at least). I'd prefer Santa Monica or Malibu. This is in a world where I didn't just have to check my bank balance before spending $10 on iTunes, obviously.

    3. I know that feeling! LOL

      I don't know Malibu all that well, but I do love Santa Monica. Considering how much I dislike LA in general, I do tend to like its beaches. Go figure...