Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beach Patterns

Last week I spent part of an afternoon on the beach with camera aimed at my feet, and I wrote the following about the experience.

Sunlight, sea-froth and sand make remarkable things happen. The meandering line at foam’s edge weaves through the viewfinder, and I move the camera up a bit to avoid a view of my left big-toe-crumbled-nail to focus on that slightly raised serpentine line of sand left by receding water.

There, over there, a single shell interrupts the foam just so, a hump. Move the camera, catch the hump as water pulls the bubble blanket away to reveal - no, too late - shell tumbling end over scalloped edge and disappearing beneath the sea.

Turn and walk, turn, turn again, and walking, never look up. Over and over shutter clicks - 280 times with warm sun bearing down on my brow, chilly north wind at my back, reversed warm/cold, cold/warm. Like a discombobulated dervish I move across the beach. Then, sun-flash-off-water burns, and blind for a moment – I squint to blink back tears as another new wave pushes foam past viewfinder-framed-motion – one more time - too fast!

But, salty bubbles slide back, and left eye blinks to actual sight while the right sees rectangular light - mechanical version, and I push the so familiar silver trigger to the whir-click-buzz of the shutter.

Whir-click-buzz. One more time - Whir-click-buzz.

And, finally drunk on salty sand filled dreams, I stop and think…


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