Have you ever become obsessed with something? Tell us about something that captivates your attention like nothing else.
I am not obsessed by the sea, but certainly captivated by it. To me it is like eternity on earth, always there, always flowing in and out, at its own pace, regulated only by celestial bodies, the moon and the sun.
I feel invigorated by the sea, and also more peaceful. It’s the vision I have in my mind of the scores — no, millions — of people who have been at the mercy of the sea before I was here. We go to the beach happily in the summer to enjoy ourselves, and I’m sure people have always enjoyed its shores. But it was also a fearsome place for generations.
The sea that is most familiar to me in all of its moods is the North Sea in St. Andrews, Scotland. It governs the tone of the sky and the town. It’s one of the few places where you can have a glorious morning, then heavy clouds and rain a few hours later. You can watch rain pouring down on the opposite shore and then advance turning the sea from turquoise to deep gray. The sky is continually changing as the clouds separate then regroup. The power of both the sea and sky are ever-present and dominate the seaside town.
In St. Andrews there are many stories of fishing boats lost at sea, or crushed against the rocky coast line in fierce weather. It is easy to imagine, though, when the sea is pounding against the pier or the rocks walls that send the waves back to sea. It declares its power just as it bestows it benevolence. And it has done this forever. just as people like me have walked on its sands, and look out over it from high rocks along the coast line.