Wednesday, August 01, 2012

More from Melville

As I continued to read chapter 25 (The Mast-Head) of Moby Dick, I came across this sentence:

"For the most part, in this tropic whaling life, a sublime uneventfulness invests you; you hear no news; read no gazettes; extras with startling accounts of commonplaces never delude you into unnecessary excitements; you hear of no domestic afflictions; bankrupt securities; [or] fall of stocks...."

Ocracoke is not so isolated from the modern world as it once was, but in some ways island life can be somewhat akin to life on a nineteenth century whaling ship, as described above. It can be psychologically easy to avoid watching the evening news, reading a newspaper or magazine, or checking Internet news sites.

Activity here often revolves around family, friends, community, and nature...walking along the surf at sunrise, sharing dinner with friends, clamming in Pamlico Sound, sipping a late afternoon drink on the front porch, playing or listening to music at an outdoor cafe, taking a scud in your skiff, or watching the red-orange sky melt into a deep indigo at sunset.

Ignorance can be bliss, after all.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Hurricane House and the Hurricane Boards. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Now you know how those "lost" tribes felt before they were discovered and became "civilized" now you know how an "undeveloped" piece of property feels before a developer "improves" the property. It's like being at boot camp, a poetry boot camp I guess .

  2. Anonymous11:18 AM

    The Hurricane House talking walls is of particular note. A historic homestead, near here I live, has this feature. On the plaster walls writing includes notes of a roll call of sorts; of those in attendance to house parties, recipes, inventory of house hold items, wish lists of the 12 boys that grew up in the house-- the family had 15 children -- anyway, writing on the walls back then certainly included more than a growth chart. actually, there was no sign of such a thing. However the lady of the house kept a monthly cryptic inscription if you get my drift. I must admit i have noted in my closet tramatic weather events, family episodes of illness i.e. fainting, hospital stays, travels, milestones etc. I can easily answer the question "When did we get those new low flush commodes installed ?"-- very handy indeed.