An Ocean Without Shore Other
“I marveled at an Ocean without a Shore / and at a Shore without an Ocean,” writes the Al-Andalus mystic and poet Ibn Al-Arabi in 1199, the waves of which heave and overflow into a state of communion. Within this placeless and limitless expanse, historically divided perceptions of reality, both spiritual and material, come into communion, flowing into a single topography—a shoreless reach which, for Ibn Arabi, is the creative imagination.
As a space of seaborne sociality that reveals our fundamental interconnectedness, Arabi’s proposal for the creative imagination forms a scene of encounter between the subtle and the sensible. Lying at the confluence of these two seemingly separate planes, this imaginative awareness of our interbeing enables us to release the false dualisms such as world-self, or nature-culture, that both frame the world as distinct parts, disconnected and independent from the whole, and condition our ability to act within it. By encouraging a relational poetics between inner transformation and social change, Arabi’s verses heighten our capacities to transform the outer realities that envelop us—asking us what it means to dream today, and which capacities or resources might be needed for us to realize more ecologically sound and socially just worlds. Could such experiences of relational insight, linked to a metaphysics of the Ocean, deepen and enrich our presents for more loving communities and desirable oceanic futures?
Between November 9–12, Meandering convenes An Ocean Without Shore, an evocative waterscape that spans a free, multi-day, and city-wide conference-festival of performances, screenings, talks, meditation, LARP (live-action role playing), river-walks, communal meals, music, and poetry. The program moves through intergenerational conversations, stories, and exchanges between artists, activists, poets, practitioners, and thinkers that explore diverse riverine ways of being and belonging. Departing from the Guadalquivir, Andalusia’s great river, to explore expanded notions of Ocean stewardship, climate responsibility, contemporary mysticism, and renewed ritual, it proposes a space for reflection on how engaged and contemplative practice can strengthen local imaginaries, and redistribute ways of knowing within our surroundings. Spanning four days, the convening comprises a series of working sessions on critical river literacy, community outreach, and capacity-building with young persons, artists, and organizations, followed by an evening program of public-facing events that offer research-driven, experiential resources for deepening our understandings of interdependent ecosystems.
All our venues and locations are publicly accessible and our events are free.
Cover image design: Lana Jerichová