Horizon 20190720

Saturday morning I woke early (as usual). Instead of writing at my desk I decided that I’d like to see the horizon.

Horizon 20190702
(c) 2019 Brian Berlin

There is something comforting about seeing such a vast straight line. I drove to Galveston, Texas. I’d considered stopping along the seawall where the beaches get raked clean daily for the tourists who don’t want to have their beach vision bespeckled (intentional) with the flotsam and jetsam and other drift-things that wash up on shore. But I decided I wanted an unraked beach in my picture. When I arrived, even so early, there were people in the box trying to collect $15 for me to drive on the beach. I declined and chose to park at a distant sand lot. The dry powdery sand felt good on my feet as I walked. The temperature difference between surface and sub-surface sand is notable. By midday, I’m sure that sand would be too hot to walk on without shoes. At water’s edge, I was surprised to see so much evidence of human and animal activity since the last high tide. Tracks and footprints. I could have moved west to find a spot with fewer signs of humans but decided that this spot was good. Lots of life scurries along this shore, even early in the morning.

I waded in the ankle deep breakers thinking about writing ideas. On the beach, my thoughts always seem to gravitate toward one of several topics: the vastness of the sea, the incalculable energy manifest by epochs of non-stop waves, and surviving on a deserted island with nothing but washed up plastics to help. I considered using plastic bottles to create a water distilling system. Plastic forks and other things seemed useful. And there is always lots of rope that washes up. But this didn’t feel like a story I was interested in writing. I thought about the movie The Mosquito Coast where Harrison Ford’s character (as he loses grip with reality and sensibility) unilaterally decides his family will only survive on what the ocean provides. I have mixed feelings about the film, but ultimately liked it enough to give the DVD space on my shelf.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6+, no filters. Top line grid aligned with the horizon. There is no “subject” in the is picture other than the horizon, nothing to grab your eye. There are 3 or 4 ships on the horizon if you look closely. I do like the left-to-right full-to-empty cloud coverage.

I could have taken a more beautiful or visually meaningful photograph. But sometimes you just have to stand where you are and gaze out at the horizon and take it all in… whatever it is before you.

Keep creating!

2 thoughts on “Horizon 20190720”

  1. When I take a photo with my phone, I also like to set it as my phone wallpaper for some time. This gives me time to consider the piece, explore it, see the beauty in it.

    It’s like that with music too. It’s not so much whether or not your song is great. It’s more like, is the song compelling enough that the listener wants to play it again. Or are You compelling enough or is the album or album art compelling enough. Did you get a second listen? Take any number of songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. By their own admission, a lot of them were bad songs. But the album carried it. Their band’s sound carried it, Beatlemania carried it. And we listened again and again. And in time, we come to appreciate the little songs as good works of art. I’m thinking of something like “Love Me Do”. Nothing special. But because we’ve heard it dozens or hundreds of times, it becomes part of us.

    How do we get that second listen? How do we get that second look in our works? In the works of others, why not go ahead and give them a second look? See what you can discover in them!

  2. By coincidence, I encountered this today:

    (begin block quote)


    Have you seen the horizon lately?

    Measure the horizon from where you sit.
    Let us know its length and why.

    For example: The horizon is short because it is between two buildings.

    Think what that length is doing to your mind.

    (end block quote)

    Ono, Yoko. Acorn. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2013, n.p.

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