Depths of the Sea: No. 18 of 40 Forts

Depths of the Sea: No. 18 of 40 Forts

Depths of the Sea: No. 18 of 40 Forts

Lucy and I were lucky enough to take a tour of The Sant Ocean Hall with Dr. Brian Huber, one of the curators of the space. Heather was in town and one of Heather’s co-workers was Brian’s high school classmate. When Heather told me what they were about to do, we were more than happy to roll on down to the Museum of Natural History.

She felt inconsequential next to God's expansive designs.

She felt inconsequential next to God's expansive designs.

That was my first tour from a curator at a science museum. We learned about acquiring of fossils from collectors and eBay, the whale is cousins to the deer, and that an octopus is really a chameleon. Plus we saw evidence of when the Earth’s surface changed just like that. Brian went out on a giant boat and helped discover this fact himself. It was utterly fascinating. And humbling. I mean, we are just one little thing in this tiny little blip in time. And there are vast, vast worlds out there… down there… that we can’t even comprehend. Well, at least I can’t.

She felt inconsequential next to God’s expansive designs.

top view of From the Depths of the Sea

top view of From the Depths of the Sea

With this fort, I sliced open the side and make it look like we were diving in to explore the beautiful creatures and vegetation living in their own world beneath the starry sky. A few stamps from the Middle East. I love how the sky and sea blend into one another. The horizon almost disappears.

As I continue to read The No Impact Man and realize that this Lent series has a pretty consistent environmental theme, it is no surprise that I am thinking a lot about the ocean. Especially since three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water. (Hey! We are three-fourths water, too.)

One thing I am trying to adhere to is no more farm-raised salmon. But there are other fish that I shouldn’t eat, as well. No flounder? What will I eat at the Mayflower? Well, here is a list of fish you can eat. Ben will be pleased to learn that the Maine lobster made the list. And for all of you Mayflower fans, popcorn shrimp is still a great choice.

Lucy and I both learned a lot on our tour. We are grateful to have that experience, but also to have warm spring days finally welcoming us out into the world. I didn’t mind the long days inside, but looking back we were probably a little stir crazy.

Upon leaving the Ocean Hall, I could not get the soundtrack to The Life Aquatic out of my head. In fact, I really wanted to ask Brian if this was his favorite movie. I did try to ask how far down he had been in the ocean. Has he taken a submarine down past the twilight zone? But I don’t think I was clear in my question. So we walked home along with the staccato beat of the first song in this preview:

SPOILER ALERT!

Not to ruin The Life Aquatic for anyone who hasn’t seen it (although it is three years old), but this ending attempts to capture the beauty we’ve yet to comprehend. At least the music, Staralfur by Sigur Ros, is quite ethereal.

This paper sculpture, roughly the size of a coffee cup, is one of forty forts I created during Lent 2010 as a creative exercise and spiritual exploration.

Read about all of the Forty Forts.

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