Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Have you ever felt like running somewhere, anywhere – only to be reminded there’s really nowhere for you to run?
Full moon ahead.
Kinda like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Even as a child, this phrase intrigued me. It seems most logical for me to believe it may have derived from Greek mythology – when Homer’s Odyssey refers to Odysseus being caught between Scylla (a six-headed monster) and Charybdis (a whirlpool).
Full moon alert.
However, I’ve run upon another possible origin that may hold water – pardon the pun – which is the nautical theory. In sailing terminology, the word “Devil” (devill) refers to the seam between the deck planking and the topmost plank of a vessel’s side. This seam had to be watertight, so it required continuous caulking. When a ship was at sea, it sometimes became necessary for a sailor to be suspended over the side or edge to perform this maneuver. Makes perfect sense to me how this might have translated into ‘between the devil and the deep sea’.
Move along, quickly now… full moon out.
All the talk of deep blue seas and moons brings to mind their lovely counterparts – the tides and currents. Thanks to the gravity force between Earth and the Moon, the Moon is ultimately responsible for many of the tides in our Earth’s oceans. During the full and new Moons, the Earth, Moon and Sun are lined up – which produces higher high tides (Spring Tides) and lower low tides. Sorry to bore, but I’ve always found the tides and their reasoning fascinating.
As a child, I remember walking along the beach in my nightgown under the light of a full moon, which I used to call ‘whole’ moon. I’ve written about this night before. I had this clear plastic blue ring which I used to filter the moon to a beautiful bright blue hue. Since then, I’ve never witnessed any setting that matched the beauty of the moonlit beach on that particular night. Even as a child I appreciated it – I stood there mesmerized taking it all in, wishing I never had to leave. Since our vacation house was directly behind me on the beach, my mother allowed me to linger there under her watchful eye. It’s still a strong, magical and precious memory – one I hope I never lose.
I’d still like to run somewhere. Preferably to a desolate beach at low tide, underneath a full moon…
Aim for the Moon. If you miss, you may hit a star…
~W. Clement Stone