Blue from 27 April 2016
How many words have you for the colour blue? The Navy used to wear a uniform of pretty blue. It is not the navy blue chosen by business people to be-suit themselves for work today. The Airforce also wore a pale blue uniform. It was not as dark but very striking, on the men and women of the sky, when seen en masse. The blue vein in cheese varies from almost black to tiny threads of hue. These colours are developed in the creamy mixture of the starter injected into the fat, as it matures it’s tasty flavours. Wedgwood makes delicate chinaware predominantly coloured blue. But to call it blue is call your blue setter dog, Bluey. It does as a name , but it is named that way because to call your dog by all the blue colours on its hair would take too long and the dog would be bored by the recital of its name long before you controlled it with your voice.
Prussian blue is the favourite of artists when they use it to emphasise shade our to add coldness to their work. Blue clearly has many tones and it is much more than the streak of colour chosen by children as the paint to capture the sky on their day at school. Such is our fascination with the sea flowing past our veranda as we sail across Bengal Bay. One is lost in the mesmerising moments of the water flowing past, much like a sitter is when sat before a fire on the hearth. Or the fire in the fire pit when the wind is blowing the smoke away from your eyes. The experience of the seascape is time wasting, or more correctly the practice of mindfulness. When you extend time by total concentration in the moment. You forget everything but that moment as it rushes to the next without pause. In perfect mindfulness you lose yourself and its fears, woes, worries, and pain, and it costs nothing. One doesn’t need a gurus to tell you how to achieve it you just get lost in the blue of the sea watching the waves from a ship.
At least that is our experience. Time goes faster than you can think on a blue ocean. This one is like no other we have sailed upon. It is a busy sea-lane. To our south we see an ever changing horizon upon which every so often, and at regular intervals, we see a ship going determinedly in the opposite direction
Many ships inject the air with plumes of heavy black smoke as they chug past. Occasionally one is close enough for us to recognise it has a flag fluttering from a mast. Most stay far enough away and we see it indistinctly as but a blur on the horizon. We do think we have sighted the Mary Celeste on the skyline but she appears too often to be herself so we have decided they, the ships passing making a ghostly silhouette wearing what appears to be masts, are simply empty freighters.
When we look up from the sea we find the cloud formations just as interesting. As I write, clouds are gathering away in the distance. The rumble and clash of yet another thunderstorm is performing its own magical electric storm. However, here where I am, it is warm and slightly blustery in the open air.
In the course of this note our ship has got closer to the busy shipping lane and it is possible to see even more of these vessels essential to world commerce. Each one similar yet distinctive in its own way. Long, low, with little sign of motion as they plough forward to their destination. Between our vessel and the freighters a tiny fishing boat is bobbing on the surface.
As the sea is flattish, and there is no swell, the little boat is safe but if the sea was to change little is needed by way of imagination to understand the intrepid nature of the fishermen. Literally miles from shelter, the seaman is at home. His landscape has no hiding place the uninitiated can see. His only security is knowing more about this element than the writer.
Such is life away from people on board our determined craft pushing forward to its destination.