Lies A Calm Along The Deep explores my connection to the vast empty space of the seascape as a place of solace and solitude.
I suffer from misophonia, an auditory processing disorder in which layers of noise compete for attention, intruding on my internal monologue. Facing the horizon of the vast empty seascape, and immersion in the enveloping hold of the waves, a stillness is invited in, calming the internal chatter.
Here the sounds are soothing and meditative, calming the cacophony, evoking an inner quiet: a place to ‘just be’, alone with my thoughts until they too drift away into insignificance with the lapping of the waves. The vast is a place where my mind is freed of its claustrophobic constraints to expand into the moment and reconnect with the ‘out there’ beyond the confines of the physical body.
Immersing in the sea allows me to shed the ego of ‘the self’ and to reconnect with something bigger than myself – to find a liminal space where, as Solnit states, “the inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow.” (2017:119).
William Burroughs said that nothing exists unless it is observed. Lies A Calm Along The Deep however challenges this self-centred perspective as humans. The vast out there continues regardless of our gaze. Through immersion in the vast – or the sublime – the metaphorical barriers we construct between ourselves and the beyond, and the illusory frames through which we view the landscape as an object, dissolve and evaporate. Here we reconnect, reposition, recognise our place in the universe: acknowledging the paradox of our insignificance and yet our inextricable interconnectivity.
While we are unable to remain permanently in this state of being – to do so would be to recede from the world as we know it – we carry these experiences within us, in our memories and recollections, fragments layering upon layer, melding with cultural reference points, disintegrating, morphing and dissipating over time, until the pull to the sea calls us again, to quieten the discord and once again invite the stillness in, to be at one with our vast beyond.
Lies A Calm Along The Deep is a multi-media visual song and immersive reflection on my experiences of being in, connecting with, and recollection of the sea.