Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Longing for the Sea and The Death of Captain Ahab

Finally it is finished, and while I'm sure I could have read Moby Dick in a more vivacious manner, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Though... it did take a long long time!

I started reading Moby Dick late in the summer after finishing many other sea novels; The Old Man and The Sea, The Heart of the Sea, The Sea and the Bells (poetry), etc. I was immediately gripped by it, though found it extremely dense. This would not be a book for those with tastes similar to my mother, for she likes her literature straight forward and fiction, especially Moby Dick, is far from concise.

I was immediately surprised by the book when I read the Table of Contents; It boasted 135 chapters, an Epilogue, and other information pertaining to subjects whaling and sailing. 655 pages in all and I was eager to read every last one.

I believe that his book took me so very long to read because of it's aforementioned density. Often I would sit down and and read a meager two or three chapters before I had to put it down, so as to save my brain from an overload of visuals and to let his extraordinary narrative sink into my mind. And so it has been, taking little nibbles of this timeless classic, I've finally finished my meal!

I'm left with many fantastic quotes, some amazingly vivid scenes my imagination painted, that little sadness which always follows the end of a good book, and the strongest desire to see the Ocean again since my departure from the Adventuress. I was moping slightly as I shuffled back to my house today, but I realized it could be worse! I don't see water every day as I did in Seattle or on Whidbey, but I know it's near; I can feel it. This may sound absurd but I really do feel it's presence around me; it's close but out of sight, it's breath is on the wind, it's scent can sometimes be detected on those particularly blustery days. I know it surrounds me, I know I'm close, I only wish I was closer.

Sitting here with all of the nautical impressions of Moby Dick fresh in my mind, I find my thoughts drifting back to home, to Whidbey, where my own craft waits for me to repair it, to my will-be Home in Seattle with Devin, to my family and friend, to those gorgeous summer days cutting through the dark blue waters of Puget Sound. This piece of literature has aroused in me the desire to live with the ocean again and return to my sea-bound city. I miss my family and friends and my heart will be so filled with such joy when having those reunion embraces. But not yet... not yet, there is still much left here to do.

Before I entirely return to the present, I just want to say that I have a new dream. Well, it's not new, it's just reinvigorated. I want to learn blacksmithing. I think it would be amazing if when I build my own house I could create a gorgeous iron banister, or little things like candle holders, marlinespikes for my sailing brethren, a knife, or a spike to hold down a tent, a coat hanger, or some old fashioned door hinges. I think that iron is so beautiful when it's done well, and I hope to become perhaps not masterful, but at least... sufficient, to serve my whims.

That leads me to another dream. They have the coolest buildings here, all made of stone and brick. I would love to have these two distinct things I've observed here in Bristol incorporated in the the house I dream of building. The first is a cellar. The cellars I've seen are usually converted into bathrooms for clubs and pubs, one has also been converted into a film rental store. Pretty much all they are are brick arches forming spaces that resemble a large tube cut in half. There are usually a few of these tubes next to each other with passages cut in between them creating a very cool atmosphere. You can see in this picture of a building they're demolishing the brick cellar beneath. The second are these walls. They're not often walls for buildings, just to enclose the outside grounds. They're maybe 4 feet high with brick on top to form the sort of extended cap stone, but the wall it self is a conglomeration of different sized rocks and mortar. When done well, they look absolutely gorgeous. I think it would be a nice thing to really establish the area of your yard while creating something nice to drive through when you're coming home. Many times there is a space in the wall with an iron gate. Anyway, so cool, I'd love to build it.

Alas, I wanted to write down some of my favourite quotes from Moby Dick but that'll wait for another time, I'm going to see the film Stardust. I'm also half done with two other posts, that hopefully I'll be able to finish up later. But I'll post this one regardless of it's incompleteness. Cheers to everyone, I love you all,


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