Cruises are ironic. Sitting here wrapped in a towel on a lounge chair on my own strip of private deck, I hear the ocean. I hear the ocean as it should be and I hear the sound of the giant engine churning up the water from the rear of the ship. As it gets into the wee hours of the day, the stars make up the sky, the horizon over the water barely visible as the colors of the sea are no longer the shades of green and blue we are so accustomed to calling water, are now no longer plausible nor noticeable as anything other than black. But sitting here, it is morning. I have a coffee to my right and the ocean to my left. I am wearing pajamas, or rather the makeshift pajamas one puts together for traveling: a number of lace trimmed shirts and lovely and lovingly worn slim sweatpants. Nevertheless, being me, I am thinking about what to wear today. Even though it is chilly in my makeshift little cozy, nautical, happy spot at the back of the boat, I know at the front, where the pool goers are (music pounding, drinks pouring, and children running) it will most likely be a warm eighty-five; a perfect temperature for just about anything in my suitcase.
But let us rewind, shall we? Did I just say in the early hours of the morning, a fitting time for a coffee, is spent hard-core drinking and lazily swimming to the blaring sounds of our American Top Charts? Well yes, I did. However, being who I am and the age that I am, I am more inclined to sip my coffee and look out at the scarily beautiful horizon, and anticipate my spa treatment in just over an hour from now because I am here to relax. But the reason I interrupted my leisurely morning recount to you is because we need to examine the other sort of cruise goers just a tad further… It looks really fun. Almost Vegas-style Gatsby if I can be completely honest. And ha- I joined in for the music and swimming for a bit myself! But the fact that it is almost Vegas-like shows a certain miff of a cruise ship. For me, a cruise is designed for relaxation and sightseeing, an excuse to dress up at night and see live shows throughout the day. But I am afraid that cruises are also a way to wipe away thought. Even maybe that cruises are intended to be a blur of bright colors and loud sounds to some guests. Perhaps even a place to be remembered in emotional terms rather than as conversation or imagery. And this isn’t bad per se. Simply ironic. This is ironic because I am sitting here, writing to you and at the same time am looking out at the Atlantic water and am saying to myself, “WOW this is big.” The fact that I can write to a big audience on a very big boat, on a big body of water— thousands of feet deep and hundreds of miles wide— is incredible. In some ways this feels very empowering. At the same time, I feel very small. As I write this I notice that both of my shoulders have scrunched up, pressing into my figure, and my mouth is doing a strange sort of grimace-smile. This, although maybe a weird Cecilia trait, is because I am amazed by it all.
Fact: the world is mostly water. Fact: animals need water to live. Fact: there are multiple kinds of water. Fact: there are four oceans in the world. Fact: I am on the Atlantic Ocean. Fact: All of these facts are true. They are. Believe me. The world is mostly water. WOW. Yes WOW. This first fact is worth WOWing about. Don’t be afraid to WOW out loud as you read this because this, if there was ever a time to WOW it is right now. It is seldom a time that you or I am able to experience this fact, to really revel in and relish and thereby really know how big our stamp on the world can be.
Cruises are temporary. This is true. This very boat will in time be put to scraps. But now, every week, a temporary environment is created for our temporary thoughts to enjoy. However, the water we are floating on is constant. The ocean water just to my left a couple stories down from me has looked the same since the “beginning”. Perhaps this is why I love being on a cruise so much. I love seeing the view. I love how timeless it seems. Even though much of the boat ride is drunkenly and lackadaisically frittered away by many people here, there is no view like it. As I write this I keep looking out. Perhaps the tiny waves are the ones that distract me eye the most. The small waves are like goosebumps on the ocean’s arm. Each one has a dark underbelly and a top that asks the sun to shine upon it. Most water you can look to find your reflection in. This water you can’t. I like that. I like not searching to see myself searching back. I like how solitude the ocean feels. Underneath it isn’t of course: there are schools of fish teaming the depths, starfish clinging to the friendly coral, and fish who have to create their own light in the deepest of waters. I keep looking at the horizon. Not what is below it or above it but simply the line that hinges the two together. The line that creates this view. The people will come and go but the view, the view of the open sea and the great big sky, can only be seen in this way. This is why it is ironic. It is ironic that the most timeless of settings is spent on a boat that revels in the temporary pleasures of us food hungry, gamble crazy, karaoke loving bunch. This fact amazes me. It also makes me laugh.
Maybe this is why I write. Maybe I am too caught up in the idea of what is “timeless”. I write because there is a little stamp this article will make on the internet. I love that writing is a way to capture a fleeting and seemingly temporary idea or moment and allow it to last forever. Maybe water is the only true constant. As my life changes, as technologies change, as the weather changes, as America changes, as fashion will change, and even as the locations of the continents have changed and will continue to change, the open water looks just like this: tranquil. Simple. Idyllic. Cool. I am writing about water. I am writing about a cruise ship. I am writing about all of this on a fashion blog. This is because fashion, like a cruise ship, is very much a temporary yet timeless thing. Fashion, although one of the few timeless concepts of humanity, strives to change. I love that something so temporary as the present fashion, the thing itself built on the deliberate thirst for change, can be humbled when compared to the greatest of concepts. A timeless sense of style is what should be desired. Yet fashion can and, in many ways, should be a way to change the present. Fashion lives on the concept of what is temporary. Fashion changes season to season, year to year, and millennia to millennia. Fashion is interesting because of how often and how greatly it changes.
And I am sitting on a cruise ship. And I am looking out at the horizon. I am looking at the shade of blue of the water. It is very dark in some places, almost a navy indigo and in scattered blotches the water changes into lighter hues of periwinkle and baby teal. I can’t see the bottom. And WOW I can’t even see the end. And this is what makes me happy. I love that what is “timeless” must be viewed ironically. This is why I will sip my coffee…