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Friday, 28 August 2015

Back to the sea

My mother was literary. she wrote novels (unpublished), and also serious poetry that was published in highly regarded limited circulation periodicals.

My father was an avid reader with an eclectic taste digesting books at a rapid rate that I envied - I have read plenty, but I'm a slow reader.

My brother, RR, who comments here was a successful editor of various magazines and has also written novels.

With that background I enjoy putting words together and strive to improve. I am no scientist, but I assume this affinity with arts and literature arises from the family's genetics So, now to today's Thursday walk with Pete.

Our route took us along the seashore south from Glasson Dock on a day of bright bright sunshine and sharp-focused seascape whipped by the wind into constant turbulent motion. I wonder if the oft repeated "we are a nation of seafarers" has a valid genetic connection. All I can say is that every time I walk close to the sea my sprits are lifted and I experience a kind of inner satisfying relationship.



Zoom to Heysham power station

Cockersand Abbey - the only bit left, Chapter House - built 1230. Ground-plan of church has been excavated to right of this pic, built in late 1100s.


Common Reed I think - any other opinion welcome
Coming into Glasson Dock - this canal links to the Lancaster Canal

One for my "Relics" collection


7 comments:

afootinthehills said...

I agree Conrad, being by the sea is very uplifting, the combination of sea and mountains intoxicating. Good to see you home safe and sound from your eventful French trip.

bowlandclimber said...

I remember this poem from my childhood and I always think of its evocations when I'm by a shore.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

John Masefield

Sir Hugh said...

afoot - My sharpest recollection of the mountain and sea combination is of my ascent of Ben Sgritheal.

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BowlandClimber - Yes. A familiar poem for me too. I have to admit that his is a better effort than my straggly bit of prose. I particularly like his "...where the wind's like a whetted knife...", could apply to many Munro ascents as well.

gimmer said...

wind on Munros- more a bludgeon in my memory !
there seems little doubt that some abilities - mental and physical - do 'run in families' - but not always, of course, with every link or to the same degree - so not unreasonable to posit that some at least is genetic:
but equally there is even less doubt that environment and upbringing play a crucial part
- together, they can make a formidable combination: think of the Cecils, Darwins, Huxleys and many others - with, occasionally, a star emerging that lights up the globe
- but there are many more that emerge from previously unremarkable backgrounds that outshine the dynastic prodigies: Newton, Einstein etc. . . . who do not leave a gifted race.
The soil must be fertile, but the nurture is vital - so you must be doubly right !
The appeal of the sea is so universal that it must be both the same and also different - the sounds and movements can be both deeply soothing and deeply stirring - which surely must work at a much deeper , instinctive , level in the mind - primordial instincts and memories some suggest: all over the world, people live by the sea and inland waters - water and food sources obviously, but something else is at work, as the sea is not so easy a resource as rivers and lakes - I think you have identified it in profound thrill and impact of 'the call' of the sea !

gimmer said...

not Ladhar Beinn ?? surely !

The Crow said...

My mom recited that poem several times during my childhood, every time we went to the ocean and to the gulf shore towns. I've remembered only bits of it over the years and never the full poem, the title, nor the name of its author. Very glad to find it here today, and happy to have the last verse.

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - Thanks for that. I have read Pinker and others on the subject, and I think there are still areas of mystery to all this. I watched a documentary on Thursday presented by Prof. Jiim Al-Khalili exploring the application of quantum physics to tackle biological problems - fascinating.

Sgritheall was to do with the juxtaposition of mountains, sea and islands - it just sticks vividly in my memory. Ladhar Beinn was more of an all encompassing experience.

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The Crow - Masefield spent part of his life at sea so this poem stems from personal experience. I hadn't realised that he lived into recent times (by my definition) 1967.