Oceans…

Now that you’ve all recovered from this years Lammas camp, Tiro and  I have something for you to think about.

Oceans cover over 2/3 of the surface of our planet, from shallow sandy beaches to deep arctic waters, life can be found going down into the Challenger Deep, 10,916 metres, which equates to 35,814 feet below us.  Water varies in temperature, salinity, density and chemical composition to provide the most variable habitat on the planet.

So: here’s where you get to have a think:

What do oceans mean to you?  Do you have a favourite memory of an ocean, visiting the seaside, or perhaps diving or fishing?  Do you feel a spiritual connection to salt water, or a liminality when on the shore?  A sense of ‘between places’?  Or is your connection to a marine animal?  Given the choice and capability would you live underwater, either in an adapted habitat or in open water?  Would you study marine biology or oceanography if given the opportunity?

Send your answers on a starfish, frilled shark tooth or alternatively, leave us a comment 🙂

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One thought on “Oceans…

  1. As someone who lives as far from the sea as it’s possible to get in the UK, I always feel slightly fraudulent if I claim to have an ‘affinity’ for the oceans.

    Not to mention how utterly disastrous I’d be given any seafaring task to do. Put out this net to catch fish; haul close that sail; shiver a small proportion of the available timbers; or careen a bottom smartly. Not me, no. A less seagoing bod you would struggle to find. Rugged mariners would chuckle through their salty beards into their grog at the very thought.

    So I can’t say I have ‘an affinity for the sea’ and hold my head up in the company of those who’ve actually ploughed the very waves. But even as a born inlander, the oceans do hold a powerful appeal for me.

    There’s a certain ambivalence in my mind towards the imagery and the aesthetic of the seas. On the one hand, there’s the haunting beauty and draw of the environment: the said fish and other beasties; the underwater landscape; the strange way light works; the alien sounds.

    Yet at the same time there’s the unease the environment conjures: the knowledge that there’s a world there that’s not entirely friendly; that at any moment (absent a good map, obviously), the sea floor could drop away and leave you floating over an enveloping, tenebrous abyss. It’s not, in fact, bottomless – but it might as well be, and it’s all too easy to imagine the great shadowed monstrosities stealing through the crushing, primordial deep.

    Ahem. Sorry about that – came over a bit Lovecrafty there. Just throw in a ‘blasphemous’ and a ‘cyclopean’ and we’ve pretty much got it. But that’s the sort of fascination the sea holds for me: not very scientific; certainly not the sort of thing that should be concerning me in these times of environmental fragility. But I can’t help it. I could stand for hours on end, given a viewpoint anywhere near it, just watching the ocean. I’ve been known to spend far too much time paging through libraries of undersea photos. And I can cheerfully ignore the actual storyline and point of any computer game set underwater, because the environment is more captivating than the story is likely to be.

    I don’t have the practical skills, or the scientific knowledge, to do anything useful for the sea. All I can do is be bewitched by it.

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