Water for Sand

Posted: April 9, 2012 in painting adventures, Women
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“……the green battalions march upon the shore, claiming victory in each grain of sand…..”


Sand Petals, oil on canvas 36x46 cm (18x14)


When I lived in Florida I would walk the beach most evenings and remember this line from a poem. I cannot remember who wrote it, but I do remember where I heard it. I was sitting on a rock, listening to the crash of waves on the shore past the mangrove trees, helping drown a bottle of J&B Scotch, in the Galapagos Islands with my dearest friend, father, brother, uncle all rolled into one. I loved him dearly.  He had recently turned 75, discovered he was riddled with cancer with not much time left. Gnarly from years of hard work, sun, sand and booze he was quoting Robert Service, one of his favorite poets.  Later that day as afternoon turned into evening, he quoted this poem. But the sun was setting and I needed to row back to my house while I still could walk and see much less row, and I did not register the name of poet or the rest of the poem, but that line was imprinted on my memory.

Back in my studio in real-time, Sand Petals proved most difficult. I started her three times, each time removing the paint and sanding the canvas down, starting over.  Why she was so difficult I do not know!  We have been best friends for over 25 years, and I am not sure why about that either.  I do not mean anything insulting its just  we are so very different from each other. However, we have a few wonderful things in common and when in those rare times we get together, there is a feeling as if we have never been apart. In addition,  she is the only true friend I have ever had that has never asked anything of me and I never asked anything of her. We just are.

So when I think of the beach, I remember the poem, and the rare breed of an unforgettable man who I loved;  and I think of her, in a pub, the permanent cigarette and beer in hand, with a another guy who will love her, use her and leave her.  I think of her constant companion, a little raggedy dog who was the best dog ever and of her unforgettable, eternal smile that could light up a room.

The green battalions do march eternally upon the shore, as I sit here in the high desert, I remember the sounds, the scents, the kinetic energy of another time, another place, another life. Smiling, I draw that energy and put it into another canvas, another piece of my soul,  just another grain of sand.

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  2. Domma says:

    Our memories keep us warm, – I wish like you, I could put them on cavass…my life sems to be filled with circles and lines…lots of abstract moments…xo


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