Heidegger’s fourfold ignores the sea as part of the earth, looking exclusively at the agrarian world and preindustrial farming to flesh out his symbolizations of earth. But seafaring, too, has preindustrial origins. There are uncanny analogies between farming and sailing, as though these opposite vocations, along with their respective implements and activities, are transformations of one another and evoke a latent identity:

tiller and sailor

soil and sea

crop and catch

ox and wind

plough and keel

ploughshare and sail

harnass and rigging

reins and…tiller!

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