4.11.2022 – sea and sky welded

sea and sky welded
together without a joint
vanishing flatness

Adapted from the opening lines of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Conrad writes: In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom

According to Wikipedia, Conrad “wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of what he saw as an impassive, inscrutable universe.

Conrad was “was always at heart a writer who sailed, rather than a sailor who wrote.”

Conrad himself said about his writing that, “the public mind fastens on externals” such as his “sea life”, oblivious to how authors transform their material “from particular to general, and appeal to universal emotions by the temperamental handling of personal experience”.

I am near the water not out on the water, still I will say, that the overall overwhelming size of the ocean and the pace of tide puts a different pace to human endeavor, experience and feeling condensing them into a mournful gloom.

Sitting on the beach, on the ocean side I am reminded of Huckleberry Finn floating down the big still river saying, ” We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all.

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