Erin's Everyday Thoughts

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

To Sea! (Part 1)

Lately, my life has taken a tilt toward nautical. First, I read the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel (more on that in To Sea! Part 2 … coming soon.). Second, I went to the Cincinnati Museum Center and experienced an exhibit on the Titanic.

The sea is magnificent and dangerous. It has such allure. As a landlocked Ohioan, I can only imagine life by the sea and life at sea. But I catch glimpses in the strangest places, and begin to feel that I understand, at least on some level.

For example, whenever I hear the song “Brandy” by Looking Glass, I feel that I get a glimpse (silly as it sounds) at a life at sea. It’s the story of a woman who loves a man, and a man who loves the sea. I find this line (explanation of why the man can’t stay with the woman) particularly telling: “But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea.”

What is it that drives men (and women) to such a love affair? The grandeur? The mystery?

I also caught a glimpse of understanding during a vacation to Florida last summer. I was staying in a beach house across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and visited the Gulf several times a day to “swim” (more just bop around in the water), to walk the shore, and just to sit and stare. Especially the Gulf in the early morning and late evening was hypnotic to me. The sight and sound and smell of it all came together to bring a strange peace. It’s not that the Gulf itself was peaceful—several days there were storms out at sea and rocky waves coming to shore. The peace had to do with the vastness and the constancy. It had to do with feeling part of something bigger and greater.

If you know of any great stories or poems about the sea, I welcome recommendations to explore.


  • i love the sea...we should go to the beach again soon.

    "Brandy" always makes me think of my dad and makes me wonder what he was like in the Navy. It created in him a devout love for the water.

    I think about that beach house a lot...but mostly about the porch overlooking the sea and sitting there with you in the morning.

    By Blogger Tripp_Fontaine, at 9:24 AM  

  • I came to THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA late in life and really enjoyed it. I am also really enjoying FINN, which is about Huck's dad. It is a very dark book. I grew up on "Brandy." An old high school song! Not a very good love story, though, unless you count the man's love affair with the sea! :-)

    By Blogger Theresa Williams, at 1:55 PM  

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