Please don’t start collecting abandoned tennis shoes for me. The curator needs veto power, for an art collection is built on exclusivity and selection. The Lost Soles are supposed to be flip-flops. But who could resist the Sneaker Marine Ecosystem?

Not all of the beach debris is as endearing.

Pop Art.

Yet we must rejoice, for a bright light is in the sky, and the good weather is at hand!


Resha and Yoshi



Tidepool swimmers

Cloudy again.

During these brief moments of good weather, it is handy to have guests, who will find doomed beach property to be exotic and enviable! Tony Sacco’s family came down from the big city to check it out.

Sacco American Gothic.

Your correspondent is not always the #1 fan of the wee folk, and therefore was pleasantly surprised to be dazzled by the company of their fine young man.

Gabriel is six, and it was his first trip to the ocean. His awe and wonderment and excitement was thrilling and contagious. He kept wanting to run down the street to check if  the tide was in or out. He is an only child and has learned to find his own fun, picking up jellyfish, arranging dead crabs into designs. He found a broom on the beach and began to sweep.

As Picasso put it, every child is an artist. The trick is to stay one.

I have noticed these Beethoven-sideways grey hairs sprouting from my head lately, so I am trying to sustain Gabriel’s freshness of vision.

In Virginia, growing up, there was a park at the end of my street. This was back in the Dark Ages, when running wild and free through the forest and heavy exposure to Grimm’s Fairy Tales fueled the imagination and served as entertainment. A sign at the park entrance read, “Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But Tracks.”

Turtle track?

I watched a documentary about sculptor and photographer Andy Goldsworthy called “Rivers and Tides”. I highly recommend it. He builds elaborate sculptures out of ice, sticks, rocks and leaves right next to the rivers and oceans, and waits for the tide to come in. Ephemeral is the idea. Very Washaway.


In one scene, Goldsworthy watches the river swallow a dry-stacked pinecone sculpture of rock that took hours to build. He remarks, “It feels like it was taken off to another plane, another world, another work. It doesn’t feel at all like destruction. You feel as if you’ve touched the heart of the place.”

Gun turret and feather


I,  on the other hand, am sentimental, and don’t want this summer to ever end. I am so grateful for this place and for the friendships here, and want everything to stay just like this! Forever!

My neighbors Stanley and Resha are always good to philosophize with. I asked Stanley what his thoughts were about their house possibly falling into the ocean soon.

Stanley and Resha

“I’ve had 29 years of really good times and I’ve been waterfront since February. I’m happy that my wife and I can enjoy this. I sit on my deck and I look over the fence and always see the Pacific. It doesn’t take much imagination to think I’m on a cruise ship. Of course, I’ve never been on one.

“This is a real lesson in detachment. One day on the beach I got despair. Then I realized it was personal. I am changing every second. Constantly changing myself. Why shouldn’t the land change? I am surprised I’m not grieving. Where else would I want to be? All these earth changes, and we are right here at the point of attack.”

“But don’t you want this to last forever?” I asked.

“It already has,” he said. “Today.”


About washybeach

Washaway Beach This Week is a blog by photojournalist Erika Langley. See more work at
Gallery | This entry was posted in Beach Access. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tracks

  1. sue hudelson says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post today. Not just because I’m a Goldsworthy fan, and one who also embraces Picasso’s quote of the child as artist while I resist growing older (so the mirror shows me), but your observations, questions, and chosen quotes are thoughtful, poignant yet beautifully accepting of this thing called change.
    Thank you You.

  2. NIce work Erika!.. Love the pics and the thoughts!… A poet with a camera and words…

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