Departures and transitions, avatars and thresholds feature regularly – as we might expect- regularly and intermittently in The Sea. Regular as the tide is regular. Irregular and intermittent as the tide always comes in and always goes out. Not of course always at the same time or with the same intensity but sure enough in it will come. Out it will go. Not as regular as clockwork but regular for all that.
Max is swept and buffeted by various tides, with differing levels of intensity. He is carried – is then drifting or flotsomed. In and out of lives he goes and in and out of his own lives. A very particular current circles around the crannies of the twins. Even the very depth of his partial intimacy fails to penetrate or untangle this uncanny symbiosis, suspended like a zone of inhibition around Chloe’s relationship with her brother. Max’s own intimacy with them- though seeming deep to him – does not adequately fathom the profundity of the geminian nexus nor does it succeed in disengaging the cables and clutches that tentaclate and finger in the dark green sylvan lingering places of the deltaic reaches.
Meanwhile poor Anna lies bruised in her own private vortex. Max enters. Max leaves. He enters and leaves. He enters her terminal solitary and ineluctable vortex on one level – moving backwards in recollection and remembrance; and edges forwards towards the narrowing spiteful dregs of the conjoined spent wrung in this final battering. A dimple pocked spin. In the narrative itself while this transit unravels, the author’s own slipstream rows us back and forth, in and then out of this relationship with the Graces, then also in and out as well as down and up the scales and stages of his shifting relationship with Anna with enough dynamism and turbulence to induce seasickness.
The lunar draw drags us too through the traumas epiphanies and traps of some slippery umbilical knots and splints. We are forcibly reminded of the sea not just as the great snotgreen and scrotumtightening sea imagined by Buck Mulligan, but more telling of the sea as mother-primordial and the inevitable to be returned to. Ineluctable deathdelta, returning from whence the ever even leaving of it a damp illusion. She is ever and always lapping at our souls on the shore, in our ears and in our dreams .Behind and before us. Surrounded and always waxing in our wake. Our great beckoning sea mother. Come see. Come hear.