Genova Voltri, 8th June.
I have mixed feelings about the sea. I forget it sometimes – that somewhere beyond this city I live in is an end of land and an immense of water. When I remember it, there is an urge to go to it.
As much as I like the word ‘eternal’, there is something definite about an ‘end’. We’d like to keep going but we want to know when and where it ends – especially train journeys, projects, movies, degrees, etc.,
The sea has no end. The sea and the sky that it mirrors are the only two eternals in our human landscape. In front of me, was an uninterrupted horizon – the sky and the sea kissed creating a new eternal. The sun was in doubt – it shined on us with varying moods and before we could leave, began to slip slowly down the horizon.
On the train to Genova Voltri, Tom, Morgan and I play ‘Ship comes to harbour.’ Someone says ‘It brings with it seas.’ We begin naming the seas we know – Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and a few more. Tom fails at naming a sea – ‘It’s all one thing,’ he says.
The Ligurian Sea in front of us, is said to get its name from the Ligures. Ligures were an ancient Indo-European group of people who spoke Ligurian and who gave their name to Liguria, a region of Italy whose modern capital is Genova. Ligurian, as a language is said to have traces of Greek and Celtic and is no longer spoken. What is fascinating is that there is no origin to the name Ligures. It is said that Ligures referred to themselves as Ambrones. But they weren’t Ambrones. In fact, Ambrones were a group of people in northern Europe, in the Jultland peninsula of Denmark. There is no identifiable relationship between the Ligures and the Ambrones. Just like the lack of an origin for the name Ligures. The Ligures fought against the Roman Empire but failed. With the expansion of the Roman Empire, they slowly vanished.
The sea has no origin. Beaches are not origins of seas. Firths are not origins of seas. In fact, Tom was right – it was all one thing. Just like the sky. No amount of human calculation can state its origin or its end. It was mighty, and in front of it, I was small.
The sea and the sky – their immense – have the capacity to show you the actual size of thoughts, anger, feelings, problems, etc., As I stood in the water that day with my poor swimming skills, the sun beating on my upper body and the sea biting with its chill on the rest, everything was put in its place.
Location: Genova Voltri, 16158 Voltri Genoa, Italy