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These Seven Seas

These Seven Seas


"Smooth Seas Never Made Skilled Sailors" Franklin D Roosevelt

Inspired by these words and my own experience with depression and anxiety, 'These Seven Seas' serves as a visual discussion about the ebb and flow of our mental health, of our connection to the ocean and long symbolism for the balance of life.

These Seven Seas shares stories of pain, darkness, survival, hope and the fight to come home again.

Produced along Newcastle's coast line, I share with this journey to the depths, and the lessons that were brought back.

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The Sea Sleeps.

Waves barely lift and the silence is deafening.

Glazed eyes, purposeless motion, floating in still water.

Sky and sea fold into one another.

This has become the new normal now.

But, the sea will wake.

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Alarm bells ring out, but are too late.

The horizon conceals the Maelstrom from sight, but its presence is still felt.

Silence is ripped away by thunder.

Chest and lungs burn.

A desperate search for light, yet finding only cold.

You are fast, but the shadow is faster.

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It is complete now, overwhelming and terrible.

Its weight bares down a thousand times and a thousand more.

Direction is taken and discarded.

You take comfort in grating sand against your skin.
Pretend it bears some resemblance to stable ground.

But, the sand too is swept away, dispersed and scattered.



You sink, void of strength, stripped of will.

This is the enemy at work.

You welcome the coercion of unseen currents.
Place hope in them that they return you to the safety above.

Hope misplaced.

The undertow has its orders.


The enemy corrupts the peripherals, robbing you of sight.

Slowly taking control.

You narrow your focus, seeking clues.
Seeking hope.

But the only thing beyond this suffocating dark.

Is more darkness.


Imprisoned in a cell with no walls or ceiling.

No forward, no back.
No north, no south.

Just the bottom, made of rock.

But from somewhere, a glimmer of hope filters through.

A beacon, made of fire.

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Memories from a life before illuminate, dancing in the distance.

Coaxing you to join them, in the light and warmth.

But limbs are numb and there is solace in the cold’s embrace.

A choice must be made.

Stay, and remain a possession of the Deep.

Or fight.


Contact all sides.

The enemy means to hold its claim.

Arms heave and rib cage strains.

Every stroke and every kick feels like a mountain climbed.

Distant flickers remain beyond reach.

Your defiance grows stronger, the war within you grows louder.


Weightless, still suspended but no longer trapped.

The enemy has worn you down but it has not won this battle.

Pressure begins to lift.

Your pace quickens and you’re soaring now.

Light fills the void and sight returns.


This thin veil.

A gate between worlds.

Constantly shifting and evolving.

Standing watch, both above and below.

The surface makes way.


Threads of light chase across outstretched fingers.

Recognising battles fought and sacrifices made.

Warm air embraces skin once more.

Morning light welcomes the weary home.


(Victorious breath)

Deep inhale.

Air returns to lungs. Safe harbour found.

Shallow exhale.

Air escapes, for a moment darkness creeps.

Deep inhale.

Air returns, healing begins.

Shallow exhale.

Air escapes.