Life and the sea-A A +A
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
TO MANY creative writers, the sea is a potential dynamic and dramatic material to use to symbolize the human experience of life in general.
This could be so because half or most of the earth we live in are filled with water, as though the land we are on is surrounded by the sea. Hence, our globe is all sea with many islands with people who are partly dependent on the sea for their existence and survival.
The way recent events unfolded around us, the sea figured deeply in the life of our people in the country. Not only were many parts of the Philippines battered by wind and rain, but the sea had sent strong winds to the towns and villages to topple homes, and lay to waste the human habitat.
It is, indeed, difficult to foretell what else could we expect to receive from the sea if only to be shown which is decided more masterful, the land or the sea.
What happened Friday night last week off Talisay City was truly beyond human comprehension if anyone would come down to it seeking an explanation or desiring to understand it.
Why do events like this come about in the course of our simple day, without any sense or reason? In today’s issue of this daily, there was a photo of a man who happened to be at the site of the collision between a passenger vessel and a cargo boat.
He said he was just a few meters away from the passenger boat when it hit or collided with the cargo vessel Sulpicio Express Siete, which survived the mishap. But of course it is only natural that, being heavy with cargo, it could not be easily damaged by a lighter boat that is loaded with people.
The Sulpicio ship, though, reminds us of another Sulpicio boat that figured in a sea tragedy many years ago at the Manila Bay wherein many had also died.
I am not saying, of course, that there is something that is linked with the Sulpicio name. It is just that the sea seems to have an eye for that name.
But the sea has really a rich symbolism value to creative writers. One of the most celebrated works of Ernest Hemingway was a novel called “The Old Man and the Sea.”
Indeed, the great Hemingway crowned his outstanding creative life with the great book.
The sea really could mean many things to many and different people. One of the short stories I wrote was about circumcision.
In my childhood, the kids who were circumcised were told to jump at the mouth of the river that emptied into the sea. The kids were told that the salty water would prevent the swelling and hasten the cure.
And so, many of us who underwent the rite of “manhood” went directly to bathe in the sea.
The recent tragedy lent various interpretations to the symbolic meaning of the sea.
Those who survived, especially the kids who were rescued even if their elders were not, or the elders who survived clutching their kids, would bestow different meanings to the why and wherefore of their survival--a clear reason to live, and a reason to die.
Who was it that said that there is only One who can explain the true equation of the sea?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 20, 2013.