Look Past the Shoreline

On the Beach, © 2009, Patricia C Vener, $1,000 USD

On the Beach, © 2009, Patricia C Vener, $1,000 USD

Humans like water. I looked it up: almost 40 percent of the population of the USA lives near a coastline. Many other people live near the shoreline of a large lake (Lake Superior, for example). As for me, I can’t recall a time I did not live near any large body of water, but I have friends who did grow up landlocked and at least one friend that I know has lived most of her adult life landlocked. I sometimes take for granted the easy ability to see the undiminished horizon of water meeting air. I was born near Lake Onterio and, except for one year near Lake Michigan, have since lived where the Atlantic Ocean influences my weather.

Water is a basic necessity if life. It is – or should be – a basic human right to have clean potable water readily accessible. In fact, all life on Earth depends on water. Perhaps it’s instinctual, but it seems to me that all humans share an almost universal agreement that bodies of clean water, moving or still, are beautiful to view and uplifting to the soul. We are, after all, mostly water.

It’s the beach that comes first to mind when someone talks about living by the water. “On the Beach” is my impression of a beach that starts with grass encroached upon by sand, maybe rocks, shells, seaweed – anything natural washed up and left behind by high tides. It finishes with clean blue water that honestly, is nowadays rare to find. My necklace represents a healthy beach. One where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. One where garbage is nowhere to be found. One where the water is unpolluted.

“On the Beach” is Abstraction art. Or perhaps Symbolic. The large carved slice of mother-of-pearl shell stands for all shells we might gather from a sandy shore. The blue beads are a healthy body of water, while the green beads are grasses. The fresh water pearls represent a healthy ecosystem undecorated by the detritus of human made trash. The necklace, a wearable work of art, is a symbol of hope for a future when clean water healthy environments are the norm and all people can enjoy them.

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