Nature, not

ocviewI’m back from the shore today, so that’s the end of my blog silence for the week. Ooops. There in my email was a bunch of blog response, including Sid Sachs defending Rothko from Rob Matthews’ flippant dismissal. Sachs wrote, “I guess you have never seen a Rothko retrospective. Rothko was one of the twentieth century’s greatest painters.” As for me, I salute both points of view, one for iconoclasm (everyone should smack an idol every once in a while) and one for caring so deeply. Here we have Post-Modernism and Modernism (respectively) crystallized!

But down the shore, I cared not a fig for either point of view. All I wanted was more of the sea.

However, I’m so used to the interference of human structures that the view of the ocean from my deck at the shore has always seemed fabulous. It’s not that I didn’t notice how comically narrowed down a view it is. But for all these years summering at the same place in Ocean City, I never noticed the wires before. Honest! (top image)

So I took a picture to prove to myself how unreliable an observer I can be as well as to preserve the view in case something obstructs it even further next year.

ocufoCompared to the city, wires and all, it still looks like nature. Here’s a photo of a seagull or a sea plane or a parasail–or maybe it’s a UFO. Oh, what’s the difference? It’s something small in the sky, which, along with the sky, is dwarfed by those wires, again (right).

When you go to the beach early enough, before the fishermen give way to the serious sunbathers and families with ambitious sand architecture projects, you can get an uninterrupted view of sand and surf and sky wide enough to fit the limits of a camera lens.

Of course it’s a lie. There are people left and right, but they don’t encroach as tightly as the buildings and the wires, and therefore don’t obstruct the camera view. (To take in this view, I had to look up from my personal obstruction–“Mating,” by Norman Rush, which I’m reading for my book club, and which reminds me a little too much of Doris Lessing).

ocsandseaskySo here’s the perfect view (left)–if you don’t mind that the sand shows its traces of humanity (I actually like it for that reason–sand tractor tracks, children’s ditches, etc.). But the sea and sky seem pretty pristine to me. Besides, I like the way the sea appears to rise up above the sand. I also like the way life on earth seems so much more important and full of activity than the air.