Friday, July 17, 2015

Back To The Sea

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said the following:

I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.

He was speaking at a dinner for the sailing competition called the America's Cup. As international events go, it was not a big deal, but that one paragraph in his speech has lived on as one of his many famous lines. Why? Because in a speech directly mostly to sailors he said something that was poignant and true for all of us. We did, in fact, all come from the sea and it is part of our physical, emotional, and mental constitutions as he pointed out. It is why so many of us feel this strange connection to the sea when we visit the beach. The word sea in many languages is often spelled as a variation on "mer." It is where we get the word mermaid. It is not a coincidence in my opinion that the word "mother" (ma) in many languages is similar to the word for sea.

Shuk was a sailor for most of his life and sought to escape the banal routine of being a merchant seaman. It is why he came ashore just in time to get caught up in a revolution that he eventually led. Now, though, the ceorans have forced him to consider other options to resolving the dilemma and he is faced with a stark reality. Spreading the message of the revolution will involve taking to the sea and talking to the people of the other islands. That means, of course, that Shuk himself will have to get back onboard a sailing ship, something he hoped to avoid. It seems the sea eventually calls all of us back home.

The word 'sea' in different languages:
Spanish, Portugese, and Catalan: mar
Italian and Romanian: mare
French: mer
German: meer
Estonian and Finnish: meri