Largely, I am a practical person. Or I like to think I am. I like logic, common sense, and using nouse when making decisions. Sometimes I pride myself in it, though I am also inclined to make silly decisions and all my logic then falls down.
But generally, I’m not into touchy feely stuff. That’s not a good thing. I was only saying to my other half, the other day, that I think allowing yourself to feel what you feel is important. Not sweeping it under the neutral rug of ‘I’m fine’, or the masking positivity of ‘but even though that’s rubbish, this is great.’
But that’s a long discussion, as my poor husband found out, and not the point of this post. As I say, I’m not generally into the whole ‘I really feel drawn to this…’ That is apart from this morning. I was sat on a bench, watching the early morning sun beams fracture across the bare bay of a low-tide estuary, seeing lone figures of other dog-walkers silhouetted against the skyline. I was praying about my car – it’s going to cost me a fortune to fix soon – and I was feeling the seeming caress of the sea breeze.
And right there and then I thought, ‘I feel drawn to the sea’. I never thought I would. I have always liked the sea, the holidays spent at Grandad’s on the Kentish coast, building sandcastles in front of his deck-chair hire hut. I’ve loved the West Country since visiting with my parents repeatedly through my teens. But although I have always thought the sea majestic and admired it, I’ve never felt a particular need to be near it.
Then we moved nearer to it, quite unintentionally, and it’s like some previously unknown spirit within me has awoken. I suddenly ‘get’ it. I get why writers consistently draw upon metaphors of the sea in their literary works, why it is a consistent setting, emotive and restless in novels, and why artists will simply never stop painting it. There’s something other-worldly about it. Yet it’s totally part of our world.
It’s boundless, restless, mysterious, deep, secret, hidden, violent, riotous, unsafe, untameable, uncontrollable, beautiful, reflective. It’s other.
I’m supposed to be studying this morning before going to the office. But I felt compelled to write this. It’s not like it means anything, like my life will now take another direction, or you’ll find me near the sea at any opportunity. It’s just, I ‘get’ it.