Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Ocean As A Writing Prompt



Mark your calendars, oceanonauts, nerds, and people who live on this misnamed planet,  World Oceans Day is June 8. The Earth should really be named Water.  Here's Carl Sagan saying it's a pale blue dot. 

From the U.N.'s World Ocean Day page:

"The ocean is the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife [like octopuses, addition mine], provides us with important medicines, and so much more!"

As a writer, I love the use of the phrase and "and so much more!" It sounds carnival barker. It sounds like the ocean might want to sell you a sleep-number mattress.  It's a placeholder for anything. It's the other duties as assigned in the ocean's job description.

It includes, for me (metaphors be with you), the metaphorical power of the sea: mother of us all.  There's a lot going with that, it's probably Freudian.

But I'm using the sea as a writing prompt for #48daysofblue as my heathen-hippie-natureworshipper secular Lenten practice between Earth Day, this Friday, April 22 and World Oceans Day.

I've been making black out poems using Peterson's Field Guide To The Atlantic Seashore and it's been instructive. Plate 32, Comb Jellies. "Body flattened/ saclike, / they do not sting." In a lot of ways, that is me. 

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