Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In which the artist takes a day at the beach, and talks to an elder earth creature...
While we all have different spiritual and religious beliefs, the ocean can not be visited without regaining a new perspective on one's tiny little life.
Walking on the sand, looking out at the endless horizon line of sea, I feel a conversation taking place. One might refer to the 'sound of the waves" but as I walked I realized the ocean is really one long 'crash' or vibration of a living entity. I really believe we are all from the same primordial birth waters, but I think some of us are more sensitive to the chord that still exists from our core to that core of the giant water creature. Hence the term, "drawn to the ocean."
I had not taken a beach day for many months, since... last fall? I can't remember. And I needed to have a conversation with it. I felt some things were a bit unbalanced in me. I needed perspective, from an elder earth dweller like the ocean. I took one book with me, "Wind in the Willows" from my brother's childhood library, complete with his 8 year old handwriting in it. I had never read it, and was drawn to it for some reason. In it, the rat who adores his river home, and has no reason or desire to live anywhere else, speaks of the river as a living being. I read for hours, all with the one long sound of the ocean drumming around me, never ending. Imagine, the sound of the ocean never ends. While some of you sit in offices, or in cabs or subways, the ocean is still shouting.
I walked, and walked. I saw the footprints of a dog, in a running pattern. Close to those prints, a young child's bare foot prints. But no adult prints followed.
In the 60ish, drizzly, and very windy weather, this former prairie Minnesotan, thrived. I wore sweaters and a coat and a handmade scarf from a friend- the latter was blue, deep blue. I grabbed the scarf as I went out the door, not planned, but I think now it was not a random decision. Surely the deep blue color was already the ocean conversing, 'I know you're coming." I picked only 5 special things off the beach. They will go to some land-locked friends that need the ocean hum too. I have quit carrying too much off the shore, as it seems it should stay there. It must be such a shock to live in the ocean, and then end up on the shore after such a long, hard journey. Why uproot it more by carrying it off to a shelf. But these items hold medicines for those that will receive them.
I tried to scientifically ponder sand. How deep it is. Where does it start and end. But I ended up just seeing the sand as skin, sloughed off by the ocean as unnecessary weight, and given to us as a gift. Sand, giant rocks the ocean broke into bits, over and over, and tossed back to land for a better use. While our skin holds our heart and vital organs inside, keeping our veins and bones protected from the elements, the ocean boldly says, "I don't need skin, here, take it, walk on it." Put your ear to someone's chest and you hear a beating heart. Stand by the ocean, and you hear your own heart, and your mother's, and father's and everyone, and every living creature, once here or now dust.
A walk on the beach makes me feel very small which is balancing for the ego, but it also makes me feel very important, very individual, like a grain of sand. The ocean isn't going to do you any favors, but it's always there for perspective.