Simone Weil: Happy Beachgoer

“The sea is not less beautiful in our eyes because we know that ships are sometimes wrecked by it.  On the contrary, this adds to its beauty,” says Simone Weil, French philosopher in a poetic mood.  She’s right: the endless surface of the sea, whether navy or aquamarine, has the abyss tucked into it.  Summer used to be billed as a time to shed every care; now we know it will be ringed by wildfires or panting hot temperatures, by enclosures on the tarmac or by encirclements of algae.  How else to reach paradise but by snaking roads, switchbacks and old goat paths that flirt along unguarded cliffs?  But those 300 degree views of the sea!  That dizzying compact between danger and thrill.  Even when lying passively on a beach, you are in the solar eye.  Remember Weil: “On the contrary, this adds to its beauty.”

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