This article is a first of a series of ‘Blues’, images and stories where we try to convey not only the colour of the sea but also the ‘mood’ of a place, in this case of the Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway.
The sea is like a
the texture of a sheet of paper
where nature draws its islands
and men write their dreams.
The advantage of sailing with an artist is that you realize that your own senses can be used in a more efficient and romantic way. And our plan was to discover the Norwegian sea using all our senses, actually trying to use the eyes the least. Yes because the view, like Tv, carries too much useless information and only a small part of it is useful to sail. So Davide and I set sail for the Norwegian sea to catch a glimpse of its sounds and smells. Much better to let go of its rainbows and lights and colors, to forgo its nuances and shades, its blues and greens. No easy to do when it’s always Arctic day and you cannot use that old trick of sailing at night under a moonless and cloudy sky. So where should our mind hide all those pixels and data, all that kaleidoscope of photons invading our brain? Mix them up!
White light is just a centrifugated mix of colors, is achromatic and fully reflects and scatters all the visible wavelengths of light, and with them all distraction. Which suits the sea perfectly. Set is aside as an all pervading cosmic background radiation of adamantine indifference. The clutter of lifeless nature. And the paradox is that by setting aside the sea as white light, you soon come to realize that all the other senses interact with the sea as a white something, be is a white noise, a white smell, a white touch and a white taste.
No matter how strong you think the smell of the coast, with its seagulls and seaweed, low tide and drying cod, fish markets and fishing boats, all these nose colors will soon blend in the foamy and salty white smell of the waves before the coast falls under the horizon. Every smell will blend into crests and breakers, mixing with the ocean. And then it’s your turn, sailor, to distill your own… wood and wool, butter and onion, oil and grease, all in your tiny fortress of odors against the overpowering white smell of the ocean.
White as salt is the taste of the sea, flying with spray, drying your lips, curing cod, bewildering metals, tingling our tongue when she dances around the bronzed neck of your woman.
But it’s really hearing and touch that hides the secrets and the beauty of our intercourse with the sea. No matter how you try to avoid it, the sea will always try to touch you. Sometimes it comes as a gentle breezy caress, sometimes as a manly liquid tackle, and sometimes it will hit you for days like a hammer hits a nail, leaving you exhausted, bewildered, non-believer, if alive.
It’s an unrelenting massage of waves with an infinite variety of frequencies yet with a discernible magic pattern. It’s endless motion that rapes your senses using the tiny rocks tingling your inner ear, while your outer ear try to discern a pattern out of the white noise apparently chaotic shouting all over you. So close your eyes and the sea will provide the blankest paper to write your poem, the whitest canvas to paint your masterpiece and the perfect pentagram to write your music. The sea, like whiteness, gives light, atmosphere, essence. “