Today’s episode of Coffee Break explores some truly wonderful paradoxes — the natural and spiritual world, science and myth, even human generosity and criticism.

All of these themes can be witnessed within the subject of the ocean’s tides. The ebb and flow of this elemental force has captured the imagination and curiosity of Jonathan White, writer, sailor, educator, and today’s special guest.

“It wasn’t something I planned… it was something I fell into. I’m fascinated by the natural world. I’m really fed by it.”

Jonathan is the author of Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, a half-poetic, half-scientific documentary of some of the most spellbinding locations and people on the planet. In fact, during a decade of study and personal encounters, Jonathan has often found himself with a foot in two different worlds.

“You can have a spiritual/mythological perspective of the tide. But you can also have the modern science of the tide. It’s not like you have to fit them together or make them fit. They can coexist.”

In today’s episode, we discuss the great lengths in which writers sometimes must go in order to satisfy their curiosity. Jonathan shares the time and trials of assembling a book over the course of ten years and the criticism he attributes to its success. He also shares his stories of enigma and human generosity as he travels the globe in search of the many influences of the tides.

“There’s a time when you just have to go somewhere. I really did come to a point where I had to close my computer down and say ‘I just have to go and see what’s going on there.’”

I hope you’ll join us for this interesting conversation. But more than anything, I hope you’ll be inspired to act upon your curiosities and passions as well as seek out the people who share them.

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