How to Survive a Shipwreck

A few years ago, I took a short holiday with some friends in a cottage by the sea. It wasn’t a regular cottage, but a re-purposed lighthouse keeper’s cottage, situated on Green Cape – a secluded peninsula on the far south coast of New South Wales, girt on one side by one hundred square kilometres of national park, and on the other by the Tasman Sea.

When I stayed there in 2012, I was struck by the sense of isolation, and at the somehow enriching feeling of helplessness that I felt when being as exposed to the elements as the lighthouse and cottages were. This was particularly true on one clear night. As I lay on the grass beside the classic white picket fence that seems at once apt and out of place bordering a cottage beside the sea, gazing up through the dark, clear night at unimaginable numbers of stars, I was overwhelmed at once by the sound of the sea, the icy chill of the southerly wind, and the depth of infinity laid out above me.

It became obvious to me why ancient peoples looked upon the elements of nature with the reverence that was only deserved by gods, and a thought came to me: I want to record an album here.

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