The beach is always best and reminds me of that Bob Dylan lyric (practically my favorite of his): “And but for the sky there are no fences facing.”
It is said that good fences make good neighbors, but by far the best thing is when the person nearest to you (as distinguished from the person who is closest to you, who should walk by your side) is far enough away to be seen, but not possibly be heard.
That’s how it is at the beach. I grew up there. Gull conversations only; jetties dividing ocean sounds, movements, spray and fragrance. In fond memory mid-distant, inaudible bright transistor radios decorating tiny nameless faceless individuals like in a cartoon background.
That is my white canvas onto which this disarranged weighty mess has been poured and remains unresolved after 5, or is it 559, years?
It seems finally time to attack, to try to penetrate it. I'm going in, friendless.
Anton Mauve (1838-1888) images --
Upper: Morning Ride on the Beach; 1876. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Lower: Portrait of Ariëtte (Jet) Carbentus, the Artist's Wife, in the Dunes, 1876, Private collection, The Hague.