I don’t want to hex us, but I find myself REALLY appreciating this mild winter weather. The pleasantness has served as a distraction from the ongoing drumbeat of destruction. So, let’s review.
The red house, you will recall, fell off the bank on Thanksgiving Day. For a good two weeks it still looked like a house.
A week later almost all the debris was gone. Was it salvaged, or did it wash away? The resulting spaces were inviting in their openness and emptiness, still conveying some warmth even if you had to turn your head sideways to feel it.
In art school, back in the prehistoric Post-Modern era, the art babble would flow floriferously about the Hand of Man, usually applied to pictures of strip mining, strip malls and the like. (Also known as: Rape of The Land.) I still wince recalling some of that chatter. At Washaway, it is the Hand of Man that seems fragile.
By Christmas eve, the red house was starting to flatten out.
I read a book called Wisdom Sits In Places that was about the Native Americans naming places for what happened there: Medicine Creek, Dead Man’s Canyon, Snake River, and such. To say the name of the place was to keep alive the stories and feel a connectedness to the people that came before you.
So I find myself wandering around, taking pictures and talking to myself, saying, “This used to be here, this used to be here, this used to be here, remember?” trying to talk the beach into permanence.
By New Year’s Eve, only a few concrete pier blocks remained where the red house had been.