Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop / ISWG hop: The Great Wave …

 

As a kid, geography was a lesson that could cover various sciences … her early ones were a blazing volcano seen exploding from the page, the ensuing great waves travelling the oceans, an outline of the continents, the darkness in the skies, an art lesson …

 

The Great Wave of Kanagawa
by Katsushika Hokusai
(1831)

Well they learnt about Krakatoa’s eruption in 1883 … it impinged – enough for her to remember to this day …

 



Stormy seas off Newlyn, Cornwall
… the stormy seas when visiting her grandparents in Cornwall … huge waves of water crashing into the harbour walls or coastline …


 


Hayle estuary at low tide
Grandpa would regularly take to the sea … swimming in St Ives Bay and on occasions taking the plunge to cross Hayle estuary – a treacherous channel of water … this she remembered …

 

 

An artist's depiction
… the pictures in the school book gave her imagination time to wander … art was never her thing … but the images were added to the memory bank as the years went by …

 

 

Krakatao's eruption



… at some stage the form of a nightmare occurred disturbing her sleep … but her imagination had common sense … so all was well …

 


 



Hokusai's Great Wave - as a backdrop
to the 'beach' as part of an art
installation for the Paris catacombs 
As she aged - more was learnt … but those minor nightmare reminiscences continued on … the Great Wave arising from the volcanic explosion, the colours master artists crafted into magnificent depictions of events … released into her mind, never to be forgotten …

 


 

Racing great wave across an ocean
The things as a child one can start to learn and appreciate over time … volcanoes, ocean swells with rushing waves, how to explain things, creative vision through art, with the added recurring nightmare thrown in … that this ‘Great Wave’ reminded her about …

 

 

Cargo Boat passing through the waves -
print by Hokusai (c 1805)
She is grateful for those early geography lessons, before the discipline separated the sciences out … the ‘Great Wave’ lingers on into her eternity …

 



Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


61 comments:

Hels said...

There are many natural events happening around the world that show us how small and how vulnerable human beings are - volcanoes, bush fires, avalanches etc. Thankfully these are rare events.

Many of us would always love to live facing the beach. But we know that the oceans go from leisurely swimming and fishing ..to violent waves, in a heartbeat. Huge waves can crash into the cliffs, making the houses above shake and fall. Boats can end up sitting on top of jetties.

Joanne said...

as someone who loves going to the beach and enjoying the ocean, I respect the power of waves and water. Just when it lulls you into comfort, Whoosh! A surprise swirls up and overcomes. I've swallowed plenty of salt water through the years. And I've not been in a Great Wave.
Good post

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Yes, I too recall 'geography' incorporating earth and environmental science... and learning about 'tsunamis'! Nicely framed for the theme, Hilary. YAM xx

Jemi Fraser said...

Geography is the story of our world and is fascinating! Full of wonder and terror and awe. Beautifully done!

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

I've always been fascinated by volcanoes and other natural disasters. I tend to have stress dreams about them.

Your post is included in this week's Roost Recommendations. I share the Roost Recommendations posts on Twitter with readers looking for their next read.
https://ornerybookemporium.blogspot.com/2021/06/roost-recommendations-15-june-2021.html

Pennie Nichols said...

I'll be coming back to this. A post rich in information and richer still for the visuals you included. Thanks

Elephant's Child said...

Love this Hilary.
In my eyes at least science continues to cross boundaries and meld (including the sciences like physics which I barely understand).

Inger said...

So much of geography involves both physics and chemistry, if you study it, those things must be included. Then in your physics and chemistry classes, you would go more in-depth. I'm imagining this since I don't remember. Geography was a favorite subject, physics OK, chemistry -- I just didn't get it or how I would apply this to my daily life in the future.

Lenny Lee said...

Hi Grandblogmom,

Love your story. I saw a documentary about Krakatoa and it was just like you described. I can't imagine how scary it was.

I added a haiku to the WEP challenge. I hope someone read it as I posted it a lot later than other posted. First time I did the challenge.

Hope all is well with you.

Lots of love and big hugs,

Lenny

Olga Godim said...

I like the images built into your story, dancing around like memory snippets. Different times, different places, but the same general theme.

Rhodesia said...

I loved geography but I am struggling to keep up with the newer name changes as to where everything is these days. We had a great geography mistress and it was easy to learn. Sadly we had a rubbish history mistress, and I am so sad that most of what I "learnt" then did not sink in and I am trying to learn all over again! Keep well, Diane

Anabel Marsh said...

Very evocative. Love the collection of illustrations too.

Liz A. said...

Volcanoes are scary, even when they are hundreds of miles away.

Michael Di Gesu said...

As always, Hilary, your posts are chock full of very interesting facts and pictures. A terrific blend of prose and imagery... WELL DONE!

Denise Covey said...

Another post chock full of history. Our earth is very alive and often troubled. I live overlooking the Pacific Ocean, but made sure to build on a high block. It's very sad that Geography ain't what it used to be, and many students only get a taste in junior school. A pity. Really, Geography teaches us so much about the world we live in more so than most subjects. Thanks for this great take on the prompt.

Janie Junebug said...

Well done, Hilary. Using geography works well. I especially like the last sentence.

Love,
Janie

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

"Her imagination had common sense." Wish mine did! That's a brilliant line.

Yolanda Renée said...

Such a history of destruction. And it goes on. The ocean is very frightening and oh so beautiful!

Keith's Ramblings said...

Like you Hilary I see waves every day, they are part of my life. Some days calm, others ferocious. A really interesting piece, both in words and pictures. Well done.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels – yes your comment is so true – my mother lived facing the Atlantic for many a decade, as I do now – but further up the coast.

@ Joanne – I too respect the power of the waves and water … and definitely have swallowed lots of the salty stuff over the many years … I’ll paddle now.

@ Yam – yes it’s where it all started isn’t it … we were given the opportunity to learn more about the world and how it is made up … in simple terms. Yet realising the enormous power that the planet can generate … early on in life by volcanoes and then those frightening tsunamis …

@ Jemi – thank you … geography certainly gripped me in school … and then in life I could carry on that learning …

@ Charlotte – thank you for the link and summation of this post on your blog; it’s just interesting this ‘nightmare’-dream occurs occasionally – but thankfully always ends safely …

@ Pennie – so pleased you’ll be coming back to re-read – thank you. Also delighted you enjoyed the visuals … I just prefer adding them in to any writing I do …

@ EC – yes … so much has developed since we were young … I remember not knowing about the continents constantly on the move … over millennia … our scientists keep learning more – some of which, like you mention, I still do not understand …

@ Inger – yes but back in our day … a number of things weren’t known or understood … supercontinents being one. I too loved geography, which led to so much learning in later life. I toughed out physics and chemistry which didn’t appeal – I perhaps understand a little more now – not much!

@ Lenny – great to see you … and thanks for your entry – short, sweet and very true to the point. Excellent you’ve included that Japanese connection … I must find out more.
I see the administrators picked up your entry and added it to the list at # 19 … and you already have some comments … as too Diane’s ‘welcome to join us in future’.

@ Olga – thanks for helping Lenny get his entry onto the list.
Thank you too for your comment – we learn so much as we grow, but don’t always appreciate how all the various subjects tie in together …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane – thank you … yes there’s been a lot of change that’s drawn into our school curriculum now-a-days and how things are looked at from different disciplines …
I was hopeless at history … yet like you now – we get interested later in life … blogging has definitely helped in that regard.

@ Anabel – thank you … that ‘nightmare’ keeps coming back, but is just there … and I enjoyed adding the illustrations for this post …

@ Liz – we now understand how frightening these events can be … especially with tv and social media …

@ Michael – I enjoyed bringing the post together … particularly the illustrations – while realising how much has changed over time …

@ Denise – thank you … yes I thought of you as I wrote this post, so am glad to learn you built on a high block of land.
School has changed … as disciplines have been understood … but I agree geography gave me such an overview of the world … and a keenness to learn more …
I wonder how much learning kids are given to understand that each aspect they’re taught does (will) all tie in to the larger world … giving us the other disciplines …

@ Janie – thank you … that ‘Great Wave’ ‘nightmare’ will linger on into eternity with me …

@ Rebecca – yes I’m quite lucky that the two or three ‘nightmares’ I recurringly tend to have don’t develop further … I’m glad the phrase made sense …

@ Yolanda – our planet is destructive in its own right … thankfully we’ll live to enjoy it, before it declines over billions of years …

@ Keith … we see mostly the same sea … I hate to think what last night was like when the storms arrived. I’m glad you enjoyed the piece with the added illustrations … they add to my learning …

Thanks everyone – I’ll be around to visit … these WEP Art themes are fun to write up … cheers Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Great post, Hilary. Waves are so fascinating to watch and so deadly at the same time.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Nicely done, Hilary. An informative take on the prompt. Geography was a combination of nature science and geology and astronomy - bits and pieces from different disciplines, a more holistic approach. Can't help thinking it was more useful that way. Bred a love of nature alongside a deep respect for its powers.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

This is artfully done, Hilary, writing in the third person. I have always enjoyed geography in all its multi-faceted forms, but what I liked most as a youngster was poring through an atlas, wondering about all the remote lands I never imagined I would ever see. It all seemed so exotic. And the atlas I used to borrow from the library was very large, a grand affair with pictures down the side of each map - for Japan a lady in a kimono, for Australia a kangaroo, and so on. I am sure I fantasized to no end, and it has been the joy of my life to have been able to visit so many parts of the world. My teacher in high school was a total dud, dry as a bone and about as interesting as yesterday's spit on the sidewalk. He was a few years away from retirement and seemed to be coasting along to the end. And he had not travelled much himself so could not provide knowledge based on personal experience. Since then I have gone on to visit most of the world's great mountain ranges, have dipped my toe in many of its oceans, seen the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods and drought. I have suffered through extreme heat and intense cold, and enjoyed everything in between. Along the way, I have seen almost 3,500 of the world's birds, countless mammals, reptiles, insects, active volcanoes and enjoyed more fine food than I ever dreamed of. It has, for the most part, been a great life!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I never really appreciated what I was being taught at school - it was all about tests and exams and results, which terrified me. But actually, the world is a fascinating, awe-inspiring place and we should be taught that. I hope lessons have evolved!

Jemima Pett said...

I love the way you treated this. Such a treat to see all those versions, too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason – thanks for coming by … I love the sea, but appreciate the tidal pull …

@ Nila – many thanks … I wanted to make it into a geography type lesson per the old days … but sort of pulled in all sorts of things to many disciplines.
My geography was fine and opened up many informational doors for me, but never equated art, chemistry, physics, or history to cross-reference what I was studying … wish it had … but then I can learn now.
Things for me were slightly different but the brain adapts – even if later in life …

@ David – thank you … I didn’t realise I’d done that … writing in the 3rd person. Geography taught me on a superficial level, aged 10,11 or 12 … about the continents, different countries, rivers et al …
We had close family with businesses or living in Australia, Asia, Africa and America … so again it helped with the learning. Stamp collecting also helped a huge amount … trouble is – now so many of those countries have changed their names and probably borders too … trying to keep up can be hard work for the ‘old’ brain.
You have certainly travelled, seen much and are now imparting your knowledge to us via your blog – which is a delight to be a part of … which you share here with us in your comment.

@ Annalisa – me too … and the exams didn’t do much either … but we grow and even if now my brain allows me to learn – I’m grateful. The world/planet is certainly fascinating …

@ Jemima – many thanks … that’s great to read … the art was wonderful to find, while the other images of great waves stir the imagination …

Thanks so much for all your pertinent comments – loved them … and I’ll be over to read the other entries soonish! Cheers Hilary

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
Very nice. I believe that as a child our imaginations are uncensored and we observe many phenomena that we lose as we start with our higher education. I thought about a childhood experience when I saw a sea monster but was it really? I don't know. A child's mind doesn't usually differentiate between what is real and what is not. I enjoyed reading your prose.
Shalom aleichem

Jacqui Murray said...

Nature really is the apex predator of our world, isn't she? Volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, glaciers--she is powerful.

L.G. Keltner said...

I love the way you comingle nature, art, and childhood memory, and your writing is so lyrical and evokes so much emotion. Nicely done!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
Are you the she and her in this? The earth is full of disasters and it is so good that many artist are inspired to document them for all of us with less talent.
Nancy

Sandra Cox said...

I am soooo bad at geography.

Erica/Erika said...

It is interesting what stands out from our childhood studies, Hilary. I love how you wove the stories along with the photos. You make a great point how “sciences” separated into categories. Ultimately, our planet is ‘one.’ An excellent post, Hilary. Prose becoming poetry. ❤️

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - Your photos (art, really) go incredibly well with your words here. Great post!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pat – thank you … I’m not sure when this ‘nightmare’ started, but another was around – thankfully nothing to worry about. A sea-monster … I wasn’t I don’t think terribly imaginative in those days – but I guess it’s coming out now. Thanks for visiting …

@ Jacqui – you’re right nature could so easily be described as the apex predator of our world … she is certainly powerful, and has always been there …

@ Laura – thank you … I’m just happy to know you enjoyed the post with its illustrations bringing it to life …

@ Nancy – yes … tis me – but not the art … just that memory of Krakatoa’s eruption …

@ Sandra – I’m so glad for the subject … it’s opened my eyes (over the decades – I note!) to so much and helps me realise where places are in the world and has made me curious …

@ Erica – it was the way of teaching back then … and the knowledge that our continents move wasn’t scientifically proven … until Alfred Wegener promulgated the theory in the early part of the 20th century, which was confirmed after I’d been taught some Geography in the late 1950s/ early 1960s.
I think my brain is still accumulating lots of school facts that never surfaced back in the day … but it makes life interesting. Thanks so much for the comment.

@ Donna – I loved some of the art – so needed to include some of the views …
I’m interested no-one has mentioned the virtual display in the Catacombs of Paris … I’d be fascinated to see that …

Thanks everyone for your interested comments – so much to learn and appreciate … and I’m so happy you could ‘see’ some of my ideas around Hokusai’s art work.
Cheers Hilary

Natalie Aguirre said...

Love your story, which was even more powerful with the pictures.

Sandra Cox said...

Oh my. I just noticed those teensy cars in front of those giant waves in Newlyn.
YOU have a great one.

Dan said...

I enjoyed learning from teachers who would blend the subjects. My brother taught history for 30 years, but he talks about pairing up with other teachers to combine history and science, math, English (literature). It's fascinating how, when you draw these things together, real world events make more sense.

We don't seem to want that level of understanding these days. I think that's sad.

Thgis was a very interesting post, Hilary. Thanks!

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thank you Hilary for this beautiful reminder of all art forms created around the seas, ocean and their sometimes treacherous waves and tides.
Your photographs are precious too and bring back to me many a rambling adventure in Cornwall and on Volcanic Islands in the Atlantic.
You have lifted my spirits no end, thank you for this daily gift.
Your blogging friend, Susan from Toulouse with part of my heart still in Dorset and with a soft spot for your part of the world. Take care and enjoy the summer weather.

A Hundred Quills said...

A very informative post Hillary and visually so appealing. Co-dependency of subjects is such an overlooked aspect nowadays, especially in our part of the world. I liked how you built this up. Thank you.
- Sonia

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Natalie – many thanks … yes I enjoy putting the images in … it does bring the post to life, as well as perhaps giving others (and me!) some different thoughts …

@ Sandra – yes those waves, near my mother’s old home, are huge!!

@ Dan – School was ok … but fortunately sport was there – so I coped. It’s only now I’m thinking about these different disciplines in new ways …
Your brother’s school – where he taught, and the teachers paired up to teach different disciplines together, to see how they tied into the world … makes so much sense.
Many people’s level of understanding seems to be in the 140 character range … not much good – sad, no help to the world … and no time to discuss or think …
I’m so pleased you enjoyed my take on the Great Wave – thanks …

@ Susan – great to see you … and to read your appreciation of the post, with its bringing together various aspects of what could constitute a Great Wave …

Delighted to read your spirits have been lifted by my post with its images – wish they were mine, but good to include in a post such as this – gives more meaning.
Dorset’s good … but we used to rush through on our way to Cornwall – now I’m in ‘sunny’ Eastbourne … but still good … though a trip to France wouldn’t be bad!

@ Sonia – thanks so much … so glad you enjoyed the descriptions enhanced by the images. I so agree … every subject is tied in to the world in every-way … people don’t seem to appreciate how everything we do, has a little of another aspect of life in it …

Thanks so much – I so appreciate your comments and thoughts … and also the different approaches to the prompt – fun to read them all. Cheers Hilary

Steph W. said...

A very lovely connection of Earth and Water. I also love how you have strung together the way our minds behave when we accumulate knowledge and build those connections in our minds.

Pradeep Nair said...

This is a nostalgic post, Hilary. It took my memory back to the school classroom. What I loved the most in geography were the types of clouds and the wind pattern. It's a fascinating subject, is it not? We get to learn a lot about our surroundings.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Thanks Steph - it's what I wanted to convey ... just sometimes we're not sent in the way of the connecting dots, which I suspect so many people don't ever think about ... so their minds can't expand their knowledge ... or appreciate other aspects of life ...

@ Pradeep - that's what it was meant to be ... a geography lesson - and in those days we were taught the basics, but never perhaps opened the doors to adding in things like clouds, and the wind patterns - they came later.

It is a fascinating subject ... one reason I joined our Life Sciences group here - a mini university course for elders, and history ... certainly we learn so much about our surroundings - which ever increases. (Other subjects too).

Thanks to you both - great to see you and your comments - cheers Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks for the unique contribution to the WEP this time. A great combination of prose and images!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Lee - it was fun to write up and remember those years and then today's approach ... thanks for commenting - cheers Hilary

Sally said...

Great images and prose. You must have had a brilliant geography teacher - I can't remember anything like that.

Sanhita Mukherjee said...

Wonderful images and descriptions. It's true physical geography could be explained through different branches of Sciences.

Vallypee said...

I was never much good at geography at school, Hilary, and found it very difficult to understand physical geography. I like the way you have woven the waves into a theme throughout this post and also included art with it too. I think I could have learnt better through art and stories like this. Lovely!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What an interesting take on the WEP theme. Good job!

I LOVE your line about imagination having common sense... can't say that mine always does, though. It tends to soar into the stratosphere. Larry's got his hands full keeping me somewhat grounded. :)

As a young girl, I often had a nightmare about a giant tidal wave. It felt so real, it was almost like a recollection, and it always scared the bejeezus out of me. Thankfully, I haven't had that particular brand of nightmare for a long time. But the ocean? It will never lose its power over me. It's mesmerizing, and I think it will always be so.

Take care, dear Hilary. I wish you all the best.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sally - thank you ... I just enjoyed the subject and could appreciate it ... the extra ideas of mine have been made some decades later ... ie tying the various disciplines together today ... I just wanted to remind us all that so much of life ties in to all aspects of it ...

@ Sanhita - thank you - yes but we have to start somewhere ... it's just I wasn't ever taught to join the dots - it's only over the years as this comes to be realised ...

@ Val - it was about the only subject I was any good at, other than sport ... and this is why I wanted to sort of create a geography lesson over the decades together ... as well as bring in that nightmare that I get on occasion ...

I now learn as much as I can about anything ... my mind wanders across subjects too much - but I crave the learning today. Thank you re the aspect of 'teaching like this' ... I so agree ... I wish my teaching hadn't been sort of put into 'boxes' ... and we'd been taught how the world all works together ...

Thanks to you three - delighted to see you - cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

I love the ocean, but I wouldn't want to be around it when Mother Nature is on a tear.
Take special care.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - thanks so much ... it's good to see you around - albeit it'll be spasmodic - understandable in the circumstances.

Thank you re the imagination - fortunately mine is pretty down to earth - well it sounds like Larry is enjoying having his hands full - it's wonderful!!
Now you know what I felt about Krakatoa and the tidal wave ... it's stayed with me too ...

The ocean will never lose it's power - I'm always aware of it when I'm in the sea ... but I love being near it.

Thank you so much for being here and being so supportive - cheers to you both - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandra - sorry missed your comment out ... I so agree Mother Nature can really hurt, when she's on a roll ... good to see you - Hilary

Kalpana said...

I loved these informative yet poetic snippets, vignettes of a life's encounters with thoughts about the Great Waves. Beautifully done. I too am of the Geography generation - and how I loved that subject. I'm all confused now about Social Sciences, but I haven't been interested enough to find out why the name changed. There must be a story behind it. Anyway - back to your entry - it was delightful, as always.

Sandra Cox said...

You have a great day and stay away from giant waves:)
Cheers,

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Hilary, loved your post!

DMS said...

Wonderful post and the pictures that accompanied the writing were perfect! :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kalpana - thanks so much ... I just enjoy the learning I bring myself and then can add into my posts. Geography was definitely the order of the day back then - gosh I sound like we lived in the dark ages!! Fortunately I don't have children, so have never worried about the subjects kids are being taught in school now-a-days ... but Professors and whomever designs 'disciplines' for the curricula - presumably it makes sense to them! Delighted you enjoyed the read through ...

@ Sandra - thank you ...

@ Rachna - good to see you and many thanks ...

@ Jess - pleasure and so pleased the pics/images matched up to the post ...

Thank you - cheers to you all - Hilary

mail4rosey said...

There are early lessons that have stuck with me as well. Nature is an amazing and breathaking thing to behold, on all accounts. Love the visuals you've added.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosey - thank you ... it's interesting what we retain isn't it - I've an update coming about this in my next post.

Nature is incredible, people's creative art work always amazes me too - the way 'things' are depicted for future generations ... I really enjoyed finding these visuals.

Cheers Hilary