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Monday, June 19, 2006

Impressions on the Sea

I have just been to the beach the past couple of days and I must say that the beach in all its grandeur, awe, and unquestionnable beauty, that if a person makes a trip to the beach and fails to visit this very miracle where water and land collide at night...let that person go home and say he's never been to the beach. For what is refreshing and pretty by sunlight is praise-provoking and soul-inspiring by star and moonlight...and the person who thinks he or she has been at the beach in its full glory only in the daytime has undoubtily missed out. Beauty inspires us in the light; but oh how it ravishes us admist the darkness.
I used to be afraid of the ocean. And who wasn't? It's vastness, it's mystery, it's immeasurableness. When younger I almost drowned out towards the first sand bar. Whatever a person's experience is, if he or she stands on a pier or a ship at night and looks far out to where the dark waters mingle into the dark sky, where each is imperceptible, where nothing but blackness absorbs the eye...then a stifling terror is vibrated from the soles of one's feet to the top of one's skull cap. And what is this thing that we fear? The ocean and all its grandness...that swallows up everything and yet it's impenetrableness and this great emblem of the unknown is the very theme of what a person should fear, uncontainable danger shaking out on the horizon.

Further in and closer to the land the waves crash upon hardened sands and splatters its torrent into foamy bubbles. The Greeks believed that from this foam the goddess of love and beauty was born. How strange a thought...but perhaps there's some truth to that....being whereever water meets the land, where the unconscious meet the conscious, where one toppling ontop of the other, that beauty is first concieved. A place where something powerful and threatening tickles the very foot of man...that is the place of beauty. Where the very entity of grandness, of unfathomable quantity, laps at the smallest toe, is where beauty comes to life. And to stand at such a place on such a night was my mind's truest verification for these words.

But enough of sight. Upon sitting on the sands at night and closing the eyes, the sounds of the ocean itself I could write books on. There is this obstrusive ripping sound as though within that liquid tearing was recorded the sound of paradise being ripped away from man. It is the last vestige of a world of light, love, and beauty that was torn asunder in one giant cacophony of sound. And yet it still sounds upon the sands, an endless, bittersweet melody. It has ever since been the crash of the garden of man being flooded and toppled over. -A washing or purging of what is futile and not of the light of this earlier world.
Sometime, not very long ago, there was always this depression that i fell into that was associated with particularly cloudy days at the beach. Maybe it was because to be at the beach on a sunless day was vexing, but I think it had more to do with how smooth the seas seemed and how they represented something buried and deep within. How much boundlessness was actually out there and how little one is. As though the tug of something urging and quaking deep down within and one can only get a sense of the surface. Which is almost inexpressible. I never understood how sailors where supposed to be the most godless of men. To ride upon such vastness and danger,I would think, requires humility and reflection. But the element in my late adolescence and on further to almost present times produced a buried sense of brokenness or the element that something is amiss or just plain missing...and I could never exactly place it, just this dull ache that sets one brooding and not apprehending anything.

But back to the sound of the ocean and its quality. It is a very soothing music if one leans one's ear to it. I do not think that the earth has a more powerful and lofty music than that of the ocean. Some might criticize God for its lack of variation or originality. But its lack of variation is a sign of its originality. While winds stop, birds silence their chirping, people die, and crickets freeze in the wintertime, this sound is perhaps the only consistent sound in the universe. And the more I sat there the more it occurred to me, no matter how mad this may sound, hearing wave after wave, the sound of the ocean is God's own laughter. Both a deep strong bellow of a laugh in the over-all tumult and clash coupled with a gleeful, whimsical, joyful child's laughter heard, leaping giddily, in the rippling of the bubbles and foam. If it wasn't the sound of both, it wouldn't be the laughter of God. Crescendo after crescendo of laughter is heard mounting and vaulting into the skies and into the hearts of those who perceive truth. What is He laughing about? There may have been a time when I believed such laughter could only be jeers. But this is not so. The laughter is continual mirth being poured out of the throne of God. Go to the waves with your problems or your ego. You will hear this laughter shaking the earth. It sounds, "Forget the Past. It is Washed Away!" And though you try to think further within your closed-up mind, it laughs, "Do not Worry. You Approach the Eternal." And upon hearing this you have one of two options. To fear and be dumbfounded or to have the urge to join in the laughter and its self-assured joy. And though you think laughter a cruel farce for such a being that has year after year claimed the life of many man, woman, and child...how ironic, for in this giant rollicking laughter lies the substance and essence of life itself. Water. And if a man were to measure himself up against the seas, even on dry ground a man passing in front of its threshold...any evidence of his walking, these footprints are washed away in a matter of seconds. Though man walk up and down the same few yards beside these great waters there is to be no evidence of his standing. All things are eventually conquered in these waves.

Of all that I learned through experience on the beach is this. To merely sit in ankle-deep water is the stupidest thing one can do. One only knows the roar, violence, and brutality of the waves and not its tranquility when one is fully immersed. One is one minute almost surrounded by water but the next, nearly out of the water. He or she is only being tossed to and fro as has been written. In short, if one only sits at the brink of the ocean, he or she may look like a true sea-goer but in reality all they receive is sand in the britches.

Now more than ever...I have a true desire to go to sea. To sail upon its waters in the vibrant moonlight. (I mean that both literally and figuratively) What once was a source of dread, what once was a source of sorrow, is now slowly turning into a source of joy and inspiration and pure mystification. And I want to fathom its depths and power. I want to plunge into its somersaulting existence.


Anonymous Nora said...


2:27 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Hi Brian, this is Ry's wife Jess. Now I know that you are a good writer and all...and I want to read your blog. Really, I do. But there is one catch, they are just so long. I can't possibly make the time to read them. Anyway, all of this is just to say that someday I hope you will write an amazing blog that is short and sweet. Thank you and good night.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

Thanks for the advice. i look at this way, that perhaps it's not that i write too much. I just don't divide it all up with different blog entries. If you compare my output with the lines of someone that wrote almost every day or every week even, you would find that they probably write more than me. And you probably read more words...(For example)

9:17 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

I can write short little snippets a bunch of times.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

..and nobody would think "gee, this guy sure does write alot". I would have them fooled into thinking that they were...

9:19 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

reading less words for a few minutes every day. Instead of a large bulk of an entry every month or so.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

but i guess i see your point. We are all victims of ADD.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

and must find ways to fool ourselves into something that appears to be quick and easy. I just may experiment around a bit in the future, thanks.

9:27 PM  
Blogger arwen said...

I'm quick and easy...

11:46 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

It's not so much that I suffer from ADD, it's more like my son does. And so snippets are all that I can get to. Obviously I would not want you to change your style or size of blog for me (nor do I think that you will because I made one comment). I'm just letting you know that someday, if you ever write a short blog, I might infact read it...maybe. I just hope when the time comes for me to read that it doesn't suck balls.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

I was kind of joking in that last comment...of course my son doesn't have add.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

ah, but you just might convince me...i'm actually thinking up something right now...a bit more digestable and too the point. (not forever, but at least for now)...something dealing with my current occupation and its big hoorays and thrills thereof. Let's face it...as much as I like to say I write for myself...I nearly bend to the audience. If I don't have an audience...it's a difficult thing to sit down to write.

arwen, i like how your comment about being quick and easy was quick and easy in itself.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Rizzle said...

I had no idea that you and my wife had this little "thing" going on...oddly enough, I'm quite pleased.

11:47 AM  
Blogger папа said...

My, I am very impressed with this one. I myself have been drawn to deep thought and emotion while both hearing and watching the crashing and rolling of the sea to land. I have never thought of the eternity of the voice of the ocean. I have felt that very dangerous and sorrowful feeling while looking into the depths, it is a much different danger than that of standing at a cliff or at the edge of a building. It is a deeper dread for me...but I like it very much. It may well be the certain knowledge that there are unseen and unsightly creatures waiting to dine on that lifeless body that slowly falls to the bottom, the surety but yet the certainty of it all. It is a very moving creation.

5:21 PM  

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