Monday, June 9, 2014

Love of Sea...

Whitby Abbey - geograph.org.uk - 931634
Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK
Photo by Mark Kirby
So I've been re-reading one of my all-time fave books, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Today I chillaxed with the character whose name I ripped off for my pseudonym, Mina (while she was still a Murray and not a Harker) during her time in Whitby, in which a portion of the classic gothic/horror novel is set. Even though there's this undertow of uneasiness, what with Mina's fiancé Jonathan being MIA, and her BFF Lucy sleepwalking like a mo-fo, I realized I smiled as I read along on my Kindle (free version!). Once I realized that, I wondered if I'm actually more of a monster than I even knew ('cause some shit's 'bout to go down with Lucy that ain't no smilin' matter). BUT then it dawned on me: I've been smiling because Whitby's a coastal town, and I'm a veritable fool for the sea. (OK, I'm a fool in general; I own it.)

I know loads of folks share these feelings for the sea and ocean; it's this profound connection to a mystery you never want to solve, because it just feels so right exactly the way it is: unknown, unknowable, unconquerable. Maybe I feel it because I've got the blood of generations of "heroes of the sea" coursing through my veins. Or maybe it's 'cause I've got, like, three planets in Scorpio in my natal chart. (Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. Dudes, when it comes to love, sex, and luck, I don't play.) (Oh, and Scorpios jones for the ocean.)

Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep, where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?
~ Fanny Crosby

Port Isaac from Lobber Point - geograph.org.uk - 721797
Port Isaac, Cornwall, UK
Photo by Hugh Craddock
A few years ago I got really into this British TV series, Doc Martin. This quirky, long-running show features a pernickety surgeon, Martin Ellingham, who discovers at the height of his brilliant medical career that he's actually a bit blood-phobic (the contrast to the titular character of the above work of fiction amuses me no end). Ellingham relocates to fictional Portwenn (in reality, Port Isaac) to practice general medicine, fall in love with feisty school teacher, Louisa Glasson, and attempt to get around this career-crushing phobia (as well as his complete social awkwardness). I adore this cozy show, folks; it's dramatic, it's funny, and the views of the ocean are stunning. You can currently watch this series (for free!) on Hulu.

But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean.
~ H. P. Lovecraft

Other ways in which I endeavor to satisfy my as-yet-unfulfilled-dream of living by the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea are: watching movies like Something's Gotta Give (a rom-com partially set in Long Island in a friggin' gorgeous beach house that I covet like a...well, like a chick who'd really dig having a friggin' gorgeous beach house of her own) and Psycho Beach Party (a pretty surreal, but hilariously funny, send-up of 60s beach party movies), and grooving to some reverby surf rock like Dick Dale's Misirlou, or, if I'm feeling all romantical and whatnot, dreaming along to this video...


Last November, I was in Orlando, FL for a work conference being held at a fancy-schmancy resort hotel. My last night there, a former co-worker (there for the same event) and I dined and gossiped together, then as we made our way back to our respective hotel rooms, he left me to my own devices in what I'll lamely refer to as the "backyard" of the hotel, which was right on the water. The hour was late and I was tired, but that didn't keep me from standing by the railing which separated the resort from the beach proper for over half an hour, under a black-clouded sky, through which a creamy white waxing moon peeked coyly now and again as I communed with the rushing waves and the pounding surf. Le sighs.

What about y'all? What sorta landscape thrills you, as the ocean does me?

20 comments:

  1. Not getting to Whitby while I was living/working in London is a huge regret! If I get back over there, it's top of my *To Do* list. I did spend time in gorgeous Cornwall though. My dad's family are originally from there (and Scotland).

    I don't love being IN the ocean (terrified of sharks), but I totally get the love of having a home overlooking the ocean. Places like Cornwall have both the the lovely English countryside and the rugged coastline in one fabulous package. :)

    There's a silly film I like called 'Mad About Men' (1954). It's the sequel to the film 'Miranda' (1948). It's about the shenanigans of a flirtatious mermaid who experiences being on land by masquerading as a woman in a wheelchair. Anyhoo, 'Mad About Men' is set in Cornwall, in this cute cottage overlooking the sea. There's a door in the house which leads down to a sea cave, which was probably originally a smuggler's cave, but is now used by mermaids. It's complete fifties fluff, but it's kind of adorable, and always makes me want to own a cottage in Cornwall. :)

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    1. Ohmigosh, Emma, I TOTALLY have to find this movie, now!!! Thanks for the tip! :-)

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  2. Born & raised on Cape Cod, I can never live far from the ocean. Can't do it. I lived in San Francisco, out in the 'the avenues' which was near the beach, even in Marin County I wasn't far from the water. I had Puget Sound nearby in WA, although the coast was a 3-4 hour drive. Now I''m back in the Cape area. I need the ocean/water near me. Can't live in a landlocked state. I love being on boats too, and I'll wade in a little bit but I don't own a bathing suit. Beaches are too crowded this time of year anyway.

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    1. I'm with you on all points! Years ago, I lived on Long Island, and for a few short months I lived quite close to Robert Moses beach - it was winter time, but for me, the best time for beach going, with the mists and the cloudy skies and whatnot. :-)

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  3. I like the ocean. I love the sound of the surf, the sight of the waves, the tranquility and the unknown. I often dream of strolling along the shore and coming across something that's been washed up. However, I prefer the country. I love woods with winding streams and little waterfalls (it's the sound of running water I like) the animals watching as you walk by, and the smells. I also love mountainous landscapes. The closest I've been to such a landscape is in Scotland...

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    1. Scotland, sweet!!! I dig a mountain landscape, too; saw the San Bernardino mountain range on a business trip to LA and got all swoony and stuff. :-)

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  4. This is a really interesting post Mina. Whitby Abbey is one of my favorite buildings, although it is a long time since I have been here. Its allure is added to by the sea mists that cling to this post and the fact that it is almost a forgotten structure in a seaside town. If you get the chance you should also visit Lindisfarne which is a remote and beautiful island off the coast not far from Whitby with a ruined abbey and a castle. You can only reach it on a cause way at low tide. I thought about Whitby again a couple of years ago when I read Dracula. Cornwall too is a half forgotten landscape but is hauntingly beautiful and the old ruined tin mines are still there on the cliffs. I live near the coast now but US coast is just not the same as the British coast. Hope you are well.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about Lindisfarne, David. I was last in the UK at the very start of 1999, not sure when I'll make it back, but do hope to get to Whitby and Cornwall and actually check out London (which I didn't manage to do when I was there, if you can believe it).

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  5. I meant to say sea mists that cling to this coast, the post is not too misty lol.

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    1. LOL, but I rather liked the idea that my post was so vivid it generated its own sea mists!!! ;-)

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  6. I live pretty near the sea, but would love to live with an ocean view. If only I had a few spare million, I might be able to achieve that goal. ;)

    I have a favour to ask. I want to tag you in this blog hop. I got tagged in the following post:

    http://www.writer-in-transit.co.za/my-writing-process-bloghop/

    You might have done it already ... I dunno. But if not, and if you're willing, I will post next week and tag you, and then the week after (June 24/25) you will post, and tag 3 bloggers. Apparently it might be hard to find bloggers who haven't done this as it's been going a long time. :P

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    1. I know, right; a spare couple million would really sort things out for me as well! :-)

      Trisha, I'd really love to help with the hop but I already did this one (last October, I think). :-(

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  7. Have spent many days in Whitby and Cornwall. So long as the sun's a shining its pretty beautiful. Brighton is my bag. I could live in a beach hut forever.

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    1. Luckeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! :-D

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  8. I love the back drop of Doc Martin. I loved the first season of it too.

    And surf music. Yum! I'll see your classic Dick Dale and raise you a 5, 6, 7, 8s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlPrvzPolYA (girl surf band from Japan, but you probably already knew that. ;P)

    And I totally need to read Dracula. I've been saying it for years. Time to put up or shut up. lol!

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    1. OHMAHGAH, AVA! I didn't know about the 5 6 7 8s! THEM BABES IS BADASS!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. The beach is my favorite backdrop. When I'm not living near the ocean, I feel disconnected, like I don't belong. I can't explain it other than, I need to be by the ocean...always. And to add to my backdrop, nothing makes me happier than to spend the day at the beach, chilling watching my kids play. #goodtimes

    Love Dracula, girl. But you already knew that. ;)

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    1. Great minds, dear madam. Great minds... ;-)

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  10. Hubs & I were really "into" Doc Martin, binge-watching through the 2nd season, then slacked off as we waited for 3rd season to come out... Need to get back on board! Port Isaac is situated almost exactly "opposites" to Hubs' hometown of St Austell.
    But I know whatcha mean about having an affinity for the ocean - this Piscean wants to retire to a coastal region.

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