101 Ways to Look at Waves: Introduction
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
You can’t live along an ocean coastline, as I have for the last 15 years, without being mesmerized by the play of light on the water and the roar of the surf as waves break on the shore. The panorama is ever changing, the prolonged cry of the sea almost as old as the Earth itself.
The series of images gathered here is an attempt to describe what Matthew Arnold memorably described in his one great poem, Dover Beach, as the “tremulous cadence slow.”
As in my book Mummyjihad, published by Guernica Editions in the spring of 2020, I have plundered, pillaged, plagiarized and wilfully misread many of my favourite authors in this endeavour, soaking their visions in brine pools in ways they could never have conceived and some would certainly have scorned. Faulkner, Nabokov and Pynchon in particular.
The image that serves as a digital book cover for this blog is based on a 24 x 24, oil-on-wood-panel painting titled Over the Wall of Water. It was generously offered by my friend John Pohl, a former visual arts critic for the Montreal Gazette and a superbly talented artist who paints and makes prints, as he says, “on the border between ambiguity and decisiveness.” That’s also the domain of waves.
The other paintings attached to the 10 segments that follow are also by John.
Treat yourself to a tour of his work at john-pohl.net.