It must be on a beach somewhere in Eleuthera: the lost shoe capital of the world.
This has been the fastest month of my life. I didn't realize that repeatedly saying "I need to do my blog post tomorrow" would actually turn out to be 30 days from the last post.
Anyway, last weekend I took a day off and went to Lighthouse Beach at the southern tip and did some spontaneous beach combing. And do you know what I found? Combs...on the beach. Very surreal. I spotted at least two of them. Here is everything else I found...
- baby doll carcass
- baby doll head (found a few hundred yards away)
- 10+ 5-gallon buckets (2 from Chevron)
- Barbie knee pad
- 3 hard hats (red, white & blue)
- unknown tube container things (5' long/8" diameter)
- polypro rope & netting of every thickness, length, & color
- laundry baskets
- high heel shoe
- HDPE pipe
- Haitian butter tubs
- irrigation tubing
- chair back
- half of a lawn chair
- milk crates
- cable insulation
- bread crates
- unknown piece of plastic- "Made in Maine"
- flip flops
- snorkel fins
- running shoes
- welding mask
- soda bottles
- olive oil jugs
- a Hatian prison tray
- fishing line
- computer board sandwiched between polystyrene (3 of them)
The whole beach combing experience is what I would call comically apocalyptic...or maybe apocalyptically comical. It looked almost intentional. Like someone strategically and delicately scattered all of these objects evenly on the beach. I remember looking for shells and shark teeth when I was younger and now I am a scavenger of plastic. Finding a plastic object on the beach 15 years ago was kind of a unique find. Now, plastic is part of our landscape. And by "our", I mean everyone in the whole wide world. My guess is that many if not most children have never seen an unpolluted beach.
The beach is my refuge--my place of release, solitude, and transformation. It is also the proverbial rug of the world under which we sweep everything. The places that I hold most sacred are just not what they used to be. So, how do I come from this despair?
I have no idea. So, I just started mining the beach.
I brought back 3 bread crates, a giant drum (a future worm bin for composting), the welding mask, 2 of the buckets, and the barbie knee pad. The most useful of which is...that's right, the barbie knee pad. It's great for all my sweet dance moves.
My new version of Message in a (plastic) bottle:
Just a castaway, a bucket lost at sea, oh
Another lonely day, with plastic around me, oh
More polypro than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair, oh
A year has passed since I lost my crate
But I should have known this right from the start
Only rope can keep it together
Plastic can help your life but
it can break apart
Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw
Hundred billion flip flops washed up on the shore
Seems I'm not alone in losing my freight
Hundred billion unmatched shoes, looking for a mate...
I'll send an SOS to the world
I'll send an SOS to the world...
What's on your beach?