Sunday, January 18, 2009

And Love is What Remains

A couple of weeks ago, while the weather was still wintery in our sweet, little beach town of San Clemente, California, Angel Daughter Number Four called me from the pier to let me know that there was something that I needed to see.  She was quite insistent that what she was calling about was worth the outing.  She reminded me to bring my camera.  Mark and I hopped into the car and when we met up with our youngest, she was proudly standing in front of this temporary artwork.  Unfortunately, we had just missed the artist, but some of his work still remained, undisturbed.
AD4 explained to us that the man who had created these fleeting works of art, did so with nothing more than a broom, a dustpan and the sand which had been tracked up from the beach on the soles of people's shoes.  No stencils, no chalk, no cut-outs.  He calls himself the "Sandman at Play" and his medium is nothing but sand.
As we stood there in amazement, people went about their business taking little, if any, notice in the drawings that were just below their feet.  I found myself cringing as I watched one person after the next walk through these lovely designs.  But then I realized.  I realized that if the Sandman had become so adept at creating drawings out of nothing but the sand on the sidewalk and a broom, he meant for them to be temporary.  He knew that his work would be viewed only by those who were fortunate enough to be passing through at the time that he was creating his drawings.  His vanishing sand-sketches blending back in with the pavement, returning to what had been before he arrived.
How circular and beautifully crafted our lives truly are.  We begin from something that is seemingly not here, but then it is, and then we are...We move through our lives, artfully, connecting with others here, leaving our footprints there.  When it is time, we move on.  Yet there is always something we leave behind even if that something is no longer concretely tangible.  By being here, we changed something.  We touched someone.
The Sandman left this short message behind before he disappeared back into the crowd with his broom and his dustpan.  And it reminded me.  It made me realize that when things are done right, even after the artist has moved on, and his design returns back to its organic state, there is something of it that will always remain.  There is something of us which will always remain.  To me, that something is love.

And love can never be erased.


Catherine Holman said...

How cool! It's amazing how some people express there creativity! I, like you, would hate to see people walking on it though.

Ness said...

So happy your AD brought this to your attention and you shared it with us. Not only is his art beautiful, but the fact he was willing to share it is just as beautiful. I love the circle! And I'd love it better if I could remember the name of it. I've always wanted one of those in metal with the little wooden stick to trace it as I pondered life. Gentle hugs and much love to you my dear sweet friend.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

How totally cool and wonderful! Great job there AD4 always call mom and her camera so we can enjoy too :)
Love n hugs Laura

delighted heart said...

That is amazing! And so are you for sharing it with us! I would love to do a post showing some of these photos. Can I borrow a few? I will give you credit and link back to your site. They are just too cool!
Have a beautiful day!

Debbie said...

That's great. Art can be found so many places. I loved this.

Lorrie Veasey said...

This reminds me of the many chalk artists we have in NYC--their work is just as transient--but the message is the same. Stuff comes, stuff goes, love stays.

jenx67 said...

Oh, I like Lorrie's comment! Thank you SOOOO much for sharing these pictures. They're just beautiful. I really like the one that goes in circles and circles.

Irene Latham said...

Love this... love the sandman. Makes me think of those monks that make those elaborate sand sculptures that disappear almost as quickly as they are made. And isn't that the beautiful part? To capture some beauty no matter how fleeting it all is?? xxoo

Tracy said...

Amazing! The sandman has great talent and what a great medium to use-Beautiful and short lived but brought so much joy-even to us out in bloggy world!
Thanks for sharing Deb!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

What, what an amazing talent!!!

I've missed you, dear friend!


Jacque said...

Your post was such a treat for me, I love to draw in the sand, it is fun to back track my walk and see strangers enjoying my creations, not knowing that I left them. I would love to come upon the treasure your daughter found, thank you for sharing with us, your words and thoughts made the sandman's art even more enjoyable! Jacque

Peggy Payne said...

I love love love this! I'm a serious doodler, but never thought of doing it on such a grand scale.

Poetikat said...

Thanks for directing me to this, Debra - it is beautiful! It makes me think of "Mary Poppins" and those sidewalk paintings of Bert's. There's a well-known artist in the States - there's program called "Concrete Canvas" about his art-work.

I would have been upset too - seeing someone walk through such beauty.


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