“The sea gives us the idea of the indefinite, the unlimited, and the infinite; and in feeling his own infinite in that Infinite, man is stimulated and emboldened to stretch beyond the limited.” Hegel
I was sitting on the cobalt blue tiles of my bathroom floor reading Hemingway, while my youngest son played with water in his plastic bathtub. Hemingway helped. Few days earlier my cardiologist had said, everything is fine with me, I just need to be more relaxed. Think, what brings you peace and consume it in large amounts, texted my mum. Weed? I turned to books. Even if my body will start to play tricks again, I said to myself, I will read one more page before even thinking “I’m dying” or something like that. One more page. It was three years ago. Hemingway helped. They say, it’s an iceberg method. He writes about going, eating, drinking, doing, while emotions, reflections stay deep under the water, but you still feel their presence. I felt good among his sentences, very good, and I didn’t think too much about the fact, that in the end he shot himself. He was a great guy.
I live 150 meters from Lielupe river. It’s right there. But, just like the river, I flow to the sea. I have to walk five kilometers to get to the Asari beach. It’s far. It felt far back then when my panic attacks left me wondering, what would happen if I would faint in the middle of that long road to the sea, what would happen to the strollers with my youngest in it? I started to take books with me. It’s a straight road to the sea, with seldom cars, I put a book on the strollers, walked slowly enough to read my way to the sea, one more page, and muttered a fuck when it started tor rain or snow, dotting the pages with droplets and blurring the letters. It was January.
Why Hemingway? Just a coincidence. I had stumbled back then upon a month old article in The Paris Review, saying, Hemingway’s A Movable Feast had risen to the first place in France following terror attacks in November, 2015. Sales started to boom when an old Parisian lady, Danielle, was interviewed in the street next day after the massacre, and she suggested, that “it’s very important to bring flowers to our dead. It’s very important to see, many times, Hemingway’s book, A Moveable Feast, because we are a very ancient civilisation”. I had never read it before, so I borrowed the book from my grandma’s shelves, and started to read, sitting on the cobalt blue tiles of my bathroom floor in January, 2016. Five kilometers from the sea.
It’s different now. Better. For long stretches of time I even forget that once I read books to not to “die”. It wasn’t funny then. My road to the sea, the Olga’s Street, doesn’t feel that long anymore. I don’t pack food to get there. I just go and come home. I don’t imagine me fainting. I got other ideas instead. Sea Library was born somewhere around Olga’s Street 61. But I go to the sea for the very same reasons. To get another dose of that liberating feeling, that you can experience only when close to the sea. Especially in winter, when sunlight is rare, the beach is the only place where the low sky doesn’t push me down. The weather is always beautiful by the sea.
Sea doesn’t care and sea doesn’t listen (rivers ask questions and rivers listen and sometimes I hate that), it just lets me be in her magnificent presence. Magnitude in movement makes me more me. When I enter the seaside, I enter a different world. Spacious, charged, hilarious. And I enter naked, even when not. Clothes are left hanging by the magical door. Lungs become filled like two big balloons and I float above the horizon. Sea leaves me alone, and suddenly I can leave myself alone, too. A wide pocket opens, deep in my soul, an ancient wound that doesn’t need to be healed. Sea is my psychosomatic Sunday. I immerse my hands deep in my inner life and am strangely happy. Because I can’t reach, where those pockets end.
Each night my youngest son asks me to lie next to him, to wait, while he falls asleep. Don’t say anything, he pleases, and sometimes even doesn’t want to be touched. He just needs my presence, while he enters the dream world. During the day, I am his river. When the moon rises, I become his sea.