“My absorption in the mystery and meaning of the sea…”

Rachel L. Carson, The Sea Around Us


“Are you writing a book?”
asked Elisewin from her seat, in front of the large fireplace.
“A sort of book.”
“Did you hear, Father Pluche?
Mr. Bartleboom writes books.”
“No, it’s not exactly a book…”
“It is an encyclopedia,” explained Ann Deveria.
“An encyclopedia?”

Alessandro Baricco, Ocean Sea

Mr. Bartleboom didn’t keep his encyclopedic work a secret, although it wasn’t finished yet. His Encyclopedia of the Limits to be found in Nature was a sort of book, but it was more than that. It was his way of life. It’s a journey, not only a destination. Yes, I believe that every creative process has some magical part, that you can’t tell anyone about or the spell will be broken. But you can always reveal the outline. Give some idea. So I’ll try.

It was February 2, 2016, when I woke up at dawn, while my boys were still asleep, and started to work on my Enseaclopedia. “My absorption in the mystery and meaning of the sea,” as one of the finest nature writers of the 20th century, Rachel L. Carson, once wrote, started right there. It was the 134th birthday of James Joyce, and the birth of my journey. Since then I wake up very early to go into my studio on the first floor of our house where I try to understand the secret of the sea. During Summer months I spend the morning hours outside of the house. I ride my bike to reach the near seaside and read there, while listening to the tumultuous sound of the waves. Summer is nice, but sea has so many faces, and I love to see them all. I go to the beach as often as I can and take photos of the ever-changing, but always majestic personality of the sea.

“I thought it might be possible to think of a sea as the sum of all the reflections it had held during its history. You’d never know the half of them, of course; but in the clashes and contradictions of image against image, you might at least catch something of the provocative power of the sea, which has meant so much, so variously, to us.”

Jonathan Raban, Passage to Juneau

“To explore from as many angles as possible
the global scale of the maritime imaginary.”

B. Klein, G. Mackenthun, Sea Changes: Historicizing the Ocean

“Maybe the fiction is the only way I’ll get to the truth of it, looking from my submarine down into the depths, up into the imaginary tracks that are left on ocean’s surface, sea-lanes, whale’s ways, shearwater flights.”

Greg Dening, Deep Time, Deep Spaces

I’m not a painter, a sailor, a pirate or a fisherman. I’m not a marine biologist, a scuba diver or a surfer. I read and write, and I live side by side with the seaside. My main mastery are words. So it’s the best way I can try to “say the sea”. My Enseaclopedia is about the sea in literature. I believe in legacy as a fuel for moving forward and understanding the bigger picture. The pieces of puzzle, the yarns that I weave are the words and stories that hundreds of writers have put on paper since the first books were published.

I believe that Enseaclopedia will be a long journey and will take many years to complete. But – that’s one of the most beautiful things about it. The longitude.

“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still.”

Japanese proverb


“Say the sea. Say the sea. Say the sea. So that perhaps a drop of that magic may wander through time, and something might find it, and save it before it disappears forever. Say the sea.
Because it’s what we have left.”

Alessandro Baricco, Ocean Sea


Add yours →

  1. This is my favorite place. I’m writing a novel that needs to be drenched in saltwater and have been marveling at all the ways authors find to talk about the sea. ‘I should catalog this,’ I thought, feeling guilty because I knew I wouldn’t. But then I found your work! Thank you Anna!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You’ve certainly set yourself a challenge, I really hope you will succeed! I love the sea too, as I live on a yacht in Greece for most of the year, and I am surrounded by sea all the time! I love writing about it, and taking photos. I look forward to following your progress!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Georgie, I’m so happy you found my blog, because now I know about you and already checked many of your articles. Your lifestyle is amazing, although I imagine how hard it could be at times to live on a boat. But it’s just amazing to imagine you being there for most of the year afloat. And thanks for the kind words. Yes, I hope it too that I will succeed. But I somehow feel that it is something “mine”, for the first time of my life so truly feel it, so every step is a joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dream in life is to live by the sea and you are living it, and I’m so jealous! I love the sea so much and I think this is a wonderful idea. I wish you luck on all your endeavors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words & you know… I didn’t see the sea until I opened my eyes one day. I didn’t know I’m living here at my dream place until I stopped chasing my tail somewhere in the city with important people. Sometimes the dream is already there. 🙂 Wish you all the best ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on following your dream. An infinite abundance of health, wealth and success to you and your family.
    I found out about your blog from my favourite blogger Awesome AJ.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reading your blog has filled me with a sense of tranquility. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to wake up to the sounds of the sea..! Good luck..!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The collection of images in this post express so many temperatures of air and temperament. I believe in legacy as well. It is imprinted in our emotional and experiential DNA, but is not fatalistic. To understand anything, ourselves included (or perhaps especially ourselves) we must look backward as we dive into the matter. I look forward to following the swells and currents of your Enseaclopedia.

    Liked by 1 person

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