I see the sea and the sea sees me.
I don't see the sea just now, so I've been needing to get my fix on Flickr instead, indulging once again in jellyfish. I am always astounded by them, they are so profoundly beautiful, so other-worldly. Nearly all the images shown are in aquariums as they are easy to take, but it is SO SO SO important to defend our oceans so that these amazing creatures, and all the other under water wonders, can be preserved. Our seas and oceans are under enormous threat from humans yet we have the power as individuals, as voters and as consumers to help turn that around. Also, see the end of this post for how your art can help. But first, the jellyfish!...
Portugese Man 'O War (i think)
originally uploaded by entertreynment
left pic originally uploaded by FlgCEH
right pic originally uploaded by rosswebsdale
My brother and I once swam in a lake somewhere in the East coast of America which was filled with 100's of 1000's of tiny see-through jellyfish the size of a 10p piece (or a quarter in US) a bit like these. They didn't sting, at least, not that we noticed, and it was better than being out of the water where the biting flies were.
You Tube has a nice clip of a mass of jellies floating about, though these are much chunkier, denser, more complex jellies and there are far fewer of them - but they are in dreamy green water. I noticed lot of the You Tube jellyfish clips have innapropriate music with them but I did find one that worked, at least for me it did- large floaty see-through jellies wafting through blue water like ghosts with Enya singing Carribean Blue, very fitting. I like Enya, not the hits so much, but the other stuff. The ethereal ones.
both shots originally uploaded by mafic
Now I've got Enya in my head. I just found one of my favourite Enya tracks Exile on You Tube and noticed for the 1st time that Enya looks a bit like Ulla. Actually the Carribean Blue video (see here) is very 'Ulla'. My favourite track, usually, is 'Evening Falls' (lyrics here, short Last FM soundclip here and full track with video on here). It really reminds of how disconnected I felt when I was living with my crazy Aunt, but in my own house.
So strange to have your home, your things, your pets and your neighbourhood right there but to feel like you are in a strange and horrible place where nothing is safe, everything familar has been transformed into something threatening. You remember everything as it was, but it's not like that anymore (and never was again). I got through it by really going into myself, it was like there was an out of focus film between me and the life I used to have, but if I tried to have any of that old life she would try and destroy it. So I withdrew so that she couldn't identify anything else to attack.
originally uploaded by itsray
Portugese Man 'O War tentacles in a jar
originally uploaded by mastergeorge
That Enya song really reminds me of that feeling. I think I would have gone crazy if I hadn't withdrawn and become a 'Stepford Niece'. Not that it made much difference, my family seemed to think I was pretty crazy anyway. That was the hardest part of all. Escaping her to visit them in LA during holidays only to find that they saw me as being like her, the enemy. After that I think I pretty much gave up realising there wasn't anywhere where it was ok to just be me.
We all get on ok now but I have never felt part of my family since then. Not that I ever felt like I fitted in anyway, but I at least felt like my Dad used to understand me. But after living with his sister he never looked at me the same way, I was like tainted goods, tainted with her craziness. It doesn't help that I look a bit like her - which is why I hate my cheekbones even though people keep telling me cheekbones are great.
originally uploaded by kasiaeryn
originally uploaded by seancadzow
That's why I love blogging, you lot seem willing to let me be myself, all the sides of myself. I can do a post that starts off with me being all happy about jellyfish and then unexpectedly (I never saw this coming) slip into some bad memory, but I know you'll forgive me for it and that I'll come out of it feeling fresh and posting about my joy in what is around me, like today's freshly opened peonies (photo soon).
Blimey. What a mini journey. I just looked at where I started this post, I see the sea and the sea sees me. That pretty much sums up my love of the sea. I feel at home there (mermaid wannabe) and when I stand on a quiet beach with the wind tangling my hair into thousands of tiny knots and my eyelashes building up a layer of salty air I do feel like finally some'thing' can see the real me.
originally uploaded by kyoten
originally uploaded by fiveholer
clearly not jellyfish but it's so very very 'me'
I never show you my 'serious' artwork. but a lot of it is work around that stuff. About not being seen, about people projecting ideas of what they think you are onto you but not actually seeing you at all. About the body being like a seed, all full of potential, like a shell with the inside often very different from what you see on the outside. I'm very interested in symbiotic realtionships and how amazing they can be and you see a lot of that happening in the ocean, another reason why I'm drawn to the water. There's a LOT of symbiosis in the oceans.
See the amazing jellyfish sculptural window display at Magic Pony, Toronto here.
Jellyfish street lighting here.
Cute painting of a jellyfish by Christel Weixelman.
And on the subject of art - Greenpeace are asking for your ocean inspired art which could potentially shown in their art4oceans gallery. Find out more here.