When I was very young I came upon the fascinating world of the ancient thinkers at a time when I had endless questions to answer. Not unlike most of us, they strived to understand and explain the meaning of our existence. They tried to simplify their search by narrowing their attention to the basics; “the elements”.
When we talk about ‘elements’, not far from these ancient philosophical interpretations, we think of the natural world that surrounds us, that affect us, that makes us feel connected. The weather, the sea, the sunlight, the wind, the landscape, they are all part of an elemental core in our lives.
These elements are also responsible for nature’s unlimited forms and shapes, the colours we perceive in our landscapes, the composition of mountains, deserts and seas, and all the life in them.
We are intrinsically connected by these elements; we are connected by the way we experience them, and by the way they affect us.
In other words, the way we sense and feel these elements connects us as humans. Let’s take, for example, the vital importance of water. Our bodies are approximately 60% water, our brain and our heart 73%. The rest of our bodies are formed by minerals and other elements that are also found in water and the soil; there is salt, calcium, iron… and even gold, amongst a very long list of elements and substances that make us who we are.
Metallic Repoussé by Roser Perez
Limestone, a favourite most fascinating stone to carve, is another example of how alike our bodies are to the world that surrounds and contains us: an ancient formation of animal sediment, basically calcium just like what forms our bone structure. At a most basic level, we are connected to the world, and amongst ourselves, by our bodies’ composition.
What do we ‘sense’ and ‘feel’ when we take a swim in the sea?
Initially it is all about contact, the skin connecting to the water…brain assessing the temperature, the depth, the stones, the sand.. and slowly our heart is being engulfed, as we sink and float, by a live mass of liquid and mineral movement, and immense limitless feeling of connection and belonging. Like an osmosis between our heart and soul, and the beginning of life… we reconnect with our humble origins as a small life particle, and all that has meaning… and then… the sunlight…