I never thought I would say that I feel at home on the ocean, but after a few sailing trips – Boston Malaga on clipper Stad Amsterdam in 2014 being the culmination – anytime I meet that vast body of water, I’m Okay.
Never mind the roaring terror of force ten at night. Or huge ocean waves picking up a thousand tons of steel and sails like it is a simple yacht.
It is the vastness, the magnitude that caught my heart and sometimes my breath.
Whenever I meet the ocean, I am happy. The beauty of the light, the colours, the movement. Superb. And best of all is that sudden glimpse of a tint somewhere between green and blue. When the light shines through the crest of a breaking wave like sunshine through a glass of wine when bringing it to your mouth. More alive than anything, uncatchable.
And there is another thing. I am aware – like a physical presence – where I am in relation to the edges of that ocean. The magic of touching the waterline and knowing that the next stop is Antarctica. Or seeing the Pacific for the first time and being aware that I am touching on the other half of the world, the never before seen part of it.
I am also aware that both my father and my grandfather had a relationship with the ocean. One as a sailor, the other as a very inquisitive artist. I have a bit of both.
So when I look at the ocean, I’m Okay.
I am not religious. Not even a bit. But that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that the world around me is in one way or another. Looking at Islam, Christianity or Buddhism I do also see that some base principles are similar. I guess that, next to being an anchor and a mirror, religion can also be seen as a set of base rules. Meant to ascertain that we live together without killing each other.
Hmmm. Perhaps I don’t get the real meaning, seeing that it is actually used quite often to justify murdering whole groups of people.
What I do know, is that I like to visit churches. Not each and every one and certainly not every week, but sometimes. It surely has something to do with the spaciousness, the arches and the way the seats form lines that disappear in the gloom.
Makes for some terrific photography opportunities.
Although it is not my thing to be on my knees, I don’t mind someone else finding solace in prayer. It is all a question of respect. So I ensure that nobody is in the picture.
Which again adds to the impact of the photo.