Monday, September 12, 2011

Found on the Beach

The beach is a great place to find things. I'm sure Columbus wouldn't have been too impressed with sea shells or seaweed squirts, but I never go to the beach without looking under my feet! Once the horizon gives you too much of an existential crisis, that's where you come back to earth.

The ocean, with its waves' ebb and flow, is a calm and relaxing force - a grand invitation to either join in or watch from the sidelines. Swim or lounge. Wade or walk. If you're not planning to splash around in the water's clutches, hunting through the sand, tide pools, rocks, and driftwood can be a rather meditative act.

There was beauty this weekend at the beach in Bolinas. I was there taking part in a rather exciting stop-motion-film project (more on that later). Part of my roll as invitee/player was to collect objects from the beach for later use. We had so much fun wandering in search of found treasure. I likened my focus to that of a preschooler, engaged deeply in a single act. The world entirely open to curious eyes.

Rocks among rocks...

Seaweed's purple lace...

A necklace...

A feather from far away...

A stone's tail of kelp...

A friendly face...

Mistletoe, leaves, a sleeve...

An unexpected harmony in dissonance...

Ever since my years living in Maine, with its dramatic coast and endless shoreline, I've always taken at least one rock or shell home with me when I go to the beach. My collection isn't massive, but it's ever growing.

Tell me, what do you collect?


  1. Matt likes to take like 6-10 rocks or shells home when we go to the beach. I MUST tell him about your more sensible "one rock or shell" goal. As for me, I don't collect much of anything. I recently counted and I DO have 14 dinner plates though??

  2. I'm always careful about disclosing my collecting preferences. We've all been in someone's house who year's ago said she loved frogs, and now every surface is covered with frogs in every material known to man. And that doesn't even touch the frog hand towels and Kleenex holder in the powder room. I think you get the picture...

  3. "The world entirely open to curious eyes"...
    I love it!
    I am a rock collector by association(my almost-three-year-old is a master rock collector) we fill mason jars with the best of them. Paint them, build with them... rocks can be pretty awesome, it turns out :)

  4. @Amelia: Note, I said "at least" one rock or shell. In fact, I'm kind of greedy...

    @Margo: I almost mentioned the "hoarding" fear factor, but decided against it. That's so funny that you mention the frogs by the way. My doctor has an INSANE frog collection. Basically, yes, I get the picture. I've seen it!

  5. Meg,
    Yours is so not in that category, but I just got the giggles thinking about the others. Thanks for indulging me. Are you thinking of switching doctors?;)

  6. I like your harmony of dissonance. I'm glad your beach combing days began in Malibu.

  7. you're a poet and i love you. also love the happy face rock

  8. the friendly face is really working for me.

  9. i love friendly face! i want to see yours!

  10. @heather, yes ma'am. and loving seeing YOUR friendly face on those amazing webisodes. @sur, these beach blogs are killing!