My Father and the Sea

Last night as I lay sleepless in my bed, thoughts and memories broke upon my consciousness like the waves that ceaselessly crash upon the shores of life.  Because I am drawn to analogy, I saw them like dark waters, borne out from the pregnant sea, called by the waxing moon to dash upon my heart.  The pregnant sea, like the subconscious mind, brings us that which was hidden. Ancestral voices call, seemingly indistinguishable from our own. In pursuing this metaphor, this analogy, I remembered my father, and in so doing have decided to share part of his “Meditation by the Sea.”

“I walk in wonder by the sea—the fresh salt air sharp in my nostrils.  The restless striving of the surf, the shock of breakers against the rock, and the echo of the sea bird’s cry seeming very like a dear but long forgotten dream.

How feminine is the sea—her countenance ever changing yet somehow always the same!  Now smoothed in peace, now dancing in sparkling animation, or—under the lash of the winds—stirred to relentless fury. How secret are her depths—how resourceful and ample her womb from which has sprung all life on this fair green planet.  Yes, and beautiful are her children, even the most grotesque and curious, and how perfect each in its own way—from amoeba to leviathan—from newt to man—from lichen to templed Sequoia…

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep.”

And instantly, in recalling these majestic words from Genesis, I am suddenly and warmly kin to that ancient, unknown prophet who first phrased them in sudden intuition linking the Fatherhood of God to the motherhood of the sea.

I walk in wonder by the sea.  Here is evoked peace and contentment—but more than this, strength and everlasting striving.  I have come home again!”

Joseph Conrad Chamberlin

1898-1962

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Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (14)  

Does Reading Make You Happy?

According to an article in last Sunday’s Parade Magazine, researchers at the University of Maryland found that reading a novel elevates one’s mood, even if the story has a depressing theme. I count that as an endorsement for the art we writers pursue. If I’d read this article prior to the Book Fair at Pioneer Square, it would have presented an interesting topic of conversation.

While I wouldn’t describe our sales at the Fair as brisk, Puddletown books were sold. Friends were greeted with enthusiasm, and a tour of other tables revealed alluring selections. I bought another Jean Sheldon mystery, The Seven Cities of Greed, which I just finished reading. The well-researched setting is fascinating, as is her ability to juggle a cast of characters who keep the action moving.  I visited with Veronica Esagui, author of Veronica’s Diaries, but since her third book hasn’t been released yet, was unable to make that purchase.

Two readings for Volunteer for Glory are scheduled this month, and final approval on a cover design for Scattered Pieces draws near.  Even as a laggard summer makes its appearance, time is racing away.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 9:07 am  Comments (9)  
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