We've been working on scapes -- sea scapes and land scapes -- in my Tuesday night art class this half term. I've been thinking ocean ocean ocean every week, shaping wire into breaking waves and using chalks and charcoals to create swirling stormy seas. It's the best manifestation of my teen angst to date. I love seeing the way my state of mind, my emotions and my levels of contentment shift from week to week. There are sheets of soft gentle blue and then stormy blacks and greys. Intricate masking tape and thin wire sculptures and thick sloping twists.
I love the ocean.
There's a song by Dar Williams, The Ocean, and I remember sitting in the car with mum and waiting for my brother and listening to it and really hearing and loving the lyrics. I didn't realise it then, when I was five or six, that this song would be the soundtrack to a few weeks in my life when I wanted to hold the ocean in my hands.
Like the lunar tides that pull the waves in and out, I felt pulled to the ocean. And this place isn't the sea side; I have to stretch my legs and walk further and take a car train plane to reach it. And maybe I love the ocean so damn much because it's not here. It's something bigger and better but it's something terrible too. I can't reach it until I reach higher; the ocean can't come to this town. I dream of the ocean (and the forest, and the mountains, and the cities) as an escape from these never ending fenland skies. Despite the fact that I can't really swim, I pretended I was a mermaid when I was younger. I thought I could see scales on my knees when it was really just scars.
There's this side to the ocean, this lurching breaking drowning side, that makes the ocean so perfect for teen angst. The way it swallows you whole and brings you down and drowns you and it could goddamn kill you and it's dangerous and it's alive, so alive.
If 80% of the human body is water, then maybe that explains the tug in my heart from the waves.
But we can't survive in the water and maybe that says it all.