When I'm playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales. I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder.
Does it seem all but incredible to you that intelligence should travel for two thousand miles, along those slender copper lines, far down in the all but fathomless Atlantic; never before penetrated … save when some foundering vessel has plunged with her hapless company to the eternal silence and darkness of the abyss? Does it seem … but a miracle … that the thoughts of living men … should burn over the cold, green bones of men and women, whose hearts, once as warm as ours, burst as the eternal gulfs closed and roared over them centuries ago?
I come from a little island with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. I come from, really, nowhere, and for me, the fiction and the nonfiction, creative or otherwise, all come from the same place.
Millions upon millions of people came here full of hope and aspiration to this extraordinary land of liberty and opportunity, and helped build the United States. So the Atlantic Ocean was absolutely critical to the story of America.
Force was the factor in the government of the world when Christ was born, and force was the source and exercise of authority both by Church and State when Columbus sailed from Palos. The Wise Men traveled from the East toward the West under the guidance of the Star of Bethlehem. The spirit of the equality of all men before God and the law moved westward from Calvary with its revolutionary influence upon old institutions, to the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus carried it westward across the seas.
It is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, ina government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.