““Call me Ishmael“…different ways of seeing the world…outcast…wandering. Ishmael is the character who is friendly not only with all the niceties but also all the horrors the world has to offer. “Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it.” Leaves the certainties of one’s own civilization. Queequeg tells Ishmael that the practices of whalemen soon convinced him that even Christians could be both miserable and wicked, infinitely more so, than all his father’s heathens…Thought he, it’s a wicked world in all meridians; I’ll die a pagan.
-All Things Shining
"Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
"Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure. Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks. Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.
Consider all this; and then turn to the green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!"
― Herman Melville, Moby Dick
"the sea's only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong."