To be in awe of the sea, to be aware of its terrible beauty is to acknowledge its violence. It has lead many men to their deaths as much as it’s inspired them. Much like the women we fall in love with—the ones we’d readily take and do damage for—we’re as much in thrall with the prospect of skimming its surface as much as drowning in its depths. It’s no coincidence that Hemingway referred to the sea as a woman.
Consider then Lorraine Lapus—the first Filipina to be certified as a surf instructor in the Philippines. “I caught my first wave alone and I just fell in love on the spot,” she says. Spending most of her time at the Philippine Surfing Academy, working both as an instructor and head-of-marketing at the school, she says she “just love(s) being in the water, soaking in all the wonderful senses that nature provides you. It’s the best feeling being alone and challenging yourself. Alone time is good every now and then.” In the near future, she hopes to own her own little corner of earth and set up camp there. That is, of course, after she’s traveled enough.
“Tie yourself to me,” sings PJ Harvey sings in ‘Rid Of Me’, her own unsettling, buzz-sawed blues take on the Siren’s call, “Oh, you’re not rid of me, yeah, you’re not rid of me. I’ll make you lick my injuries…I’m gonna twist your head off…Till you say ‘don’t you wish you never…never met her.’”
Imagining Lorraine singing those lines—the roar of the ocean behind her—and we’d perhaps be inclined to take our chances and just jump in.
RID OF ME
PJ Harvey’s debut was once described as “not so much stripped-down…as it is flayed-alive rock.” Nowhere is this best heard than in 4-Track Demos, made up of her home recordings of the songs for Rid Of Me. Featuring Harvey on every instrument (except drums), the record’s back-sleeve shows a photograph of the artist completely nude, wrapped only in a plastic sheet. Reminiscent of the image of Laura Palmer washed ashore at the start of David Lynch’s TV series ‘Twin Peaks’, it’s an arresting portrait as Harvey offers herself not so much a just a corpse but an autopsy of desire and what lies beneath it. “Lick my legs I’m on fire/ Lick my legs of desire.”
Originally published in UNO July 2009 issue
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