Luke Niebler

Sea-Word.

Luke Niebler

Q: What is calming to you about the ocean?

 

A: The ocean is an impossible depth, full of unknowable dangers. For much of human history, it has been a metaphor for the fathomless unconscious mind and the dangerous creatures that emerge from it. Man may, Ahab-like, attempt to conquer it, but we will always be destroyed in the process. Even today, the very depths of the Pacific are unexplored, except remotely. Though man has sent our proxy-robots to explore it, we still have not experienced the extreme pressures and walked on the seabed. We have the illusion that we have been, but we have never felt that sand.

 

I suppose the most calming thing about the ocean is that it is absolutely terrifying. I have nightmares where I am in a sinking submarine, slowly collapsing under the unbelievable pressure. Sometimes, the submarine is being attacked by a squid. Either way, I wake up screaming as the water rushes in, crushing my rib cage.


This terror is a good thing; everyone should be afraid all of the time.