"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
by the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
My friend Dawn turned me on to a fascinating article in Salon.com called "Why Our Brains Love the Ocean: Science Explains What Draws Humans to the Sea." You can read the entire piece here.
Here are two of my favorite paragraphs:
"Our innate relationship to water goes far deeper than economics, food, or proximity, however. Our ancient ancestors came out of the water and evolved from swimming to crawling to walking. Human fetuses still have 'gill-slit' structures in their early stages of development, and we spend our first nine months of life immersed in the 'watery' environment of our mother’s womb. When we’re born, our bodies are approximately 78 percent water. As we age, that number drops to below 60 percent — but the brain continues to be made of 80 percent water. The human body as a whole is almost the same density as water, which allows us to float. In its mineral composition, the water in our cells is comparable to that found in the sea. Science writer Loren Eiseley once described human beings as 'a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of rivers.'
We are inspired by water — hearing it, smelling it in the air, playing in it, walking next to it, painting it, surfing, swimming or fishing in it, writing about it, photographing it, and creating lasting memories along its edge. Indeed, throughout history, you see our deep connection to water described in art, literature, and poetry. 'In the water I am beautiful,' admitted Kurt Vonnegut. Water can give us energy, whether it’s hydraulic, hydration, the tonic effect of cold water splashed on the face, or the mental refreshment that comes from the gentle, rhythmic sensation of hearing waves lapping a shore. Immersion in warm water has been used for millennia to restore the body as well as the mind. Water drives many of our decisions — from the seafood we eat, to our most romantic moments, and from where we live, to the sports we enjoy, and the ways we vacation and relax. 'Water is something that humanity has cherished since the beginning of history, and it means something different to everyone,' writes archaeologist Brian Fagan. We know instinctively that being by water makes us healthier, happier, reduces stress, and brings us peace."
On our way back to Portland from Manzanita yesterday, we stopped off at Cannon Beach, mainly because we could see from the road that it was "socked in." (That term was first recorded in 1944, back in the early days of aviation. A pilot would have to look at the windsock to determine flying conditions. If you couldn't see across the field to check the windsock, then you had no business taking off.)
Photographing while walking around in "heaven" is an opportunity I never pass up.