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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rough Seas and Heavy Weather

Heavy weather is a marine term that we rarely hear mentioned these days. Storms and violent seas are what mariners call heavy weather.

Restless seas we all know. We have all witnessed recorded scenes of hurricane weather and surging sea water smashing against objects along the shore.

One of the unusual events I encountered during my years of working for an ocean carrier was the filing of a “Heavy Weather Protest”. Upon safe arrival into port following a particularly rough and stormy crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean, the master of the ship would file a legally worded written statement to protest against the weather that had been encountered during the voyage. The protest was documented with abstracts from the ship’s logbooks and then sworn, signed and sealed before a notary thus creating a legal record.

The only person I know about who protested against heavy weather and rough seas and actually could do something to change the weather was Jesus.

The Bible tells us, “And as they sailed he fell asleep. And a storm of wind came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was calm.” (Luke 8:23-24)

Last March I was able to visit the Canadian shores of two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic. I have been drawing upon those experiences for musical purposes. During these last few weeks I have been editing and revising a piano composition that, oddly enough, is about the North Atlantic Ocean and is titled, “The Atlantic Canada Sonata”

Writing music is often about observing the world around us, trying to grasp and make sense of forces we cannot fathom or control, and not just simply wresting inspiration from within to assemble noises and sounds into forms and structures called compositions.

In life we encounter periods of heavy weather and rough seas; seas of confusion and turmoil, seas of sadness and anger, seas of despair and hopelessness, seas churned by storms of life that we have sailed into and so often unwillingly.

The water in the ocean is never calm. Always moving, at times quiet but never still, appearing deceptively peaceful but never at rest.

Changes in life are like strong undercurrents that grasp and carry us where we do not want to go, at times threatening to pull us under to overwhelm and wreck us against reefs and rocks of heartache

The Bible also tells us that Jesus asked, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25)
When heavy weather comes uninvited and unwanted into our lives the same question is asked of us.

May 02, 2008
The Oddblock Station Agent

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