Yesterday I took the train from Oceanside (where I live) to downtown San Diego (where I attended an Edward Tufte seminar on presenting data and information).
For part of the trip the train skirts along the Pacific, and there are some stunning views of the ocean and the shore and the horizon.
At one point I looked out the window, took in everything (the water was calm, flat) and thought: "A blue blanket of ocean."
No great shakes language-wise, sure; but that's the phrase/description that immediately came to me. That's how my mind works. That's how I see the world. And that, in part, is why I write: this need to describe, document, elevate.
I wrote "a blue blanket of ocean" in my notebook. Maybe I'll use it later in a story/novel. Maybe not. But I'd captured something. As a writer, I'd done my job.