*Below is a page from a coffee table book that I composed a few years ago. It is a hardback book of photos that I took and wrote stories to accompany each photo; stories of what I might imagine my life to be if I did indeed live on the beach.
IF I lived on the beach, I would have myself a blue beach house directly on the sand next to the waves where I go to re-calibrate my life to baseline.
There in my blue beach house, I would invite eclectic friends over for finely grilled shrimp dinners with hush puppies, cool coleslaw and aged wine. We would laugh and discuss our families, our kids’ lives, how well they are doing and how proud we are of them. We would discuss world events like global warming. We would discuss stocks and our best bets. From our Goodwill glassware, we would drink to our success and our prosperities.
We would eat too much. And we would drink too much around the spread table with 70’s light rock music beating on our component stereo. Music to remind us of who we really are.
We would laugh and share stories about our youthful days on the beach. We recalled when our nights were longer than our days; our days when we did not care about the lyrics or the sexuality of the singer. The music just sounded good in our ears and in the ears of our friends. We would reminisce of days when we had smooth skin, strong teeth and nimble joints. Days not pre-occupied with necessary and adult worries. The days also when our brave youth had, with no fear, any hesitation or second thoughts in anything we aspired to do.
We simply did it.
Then, we begin to recall friends and family that have passed. We share how we miss them. We miss the comfortable warm grip of our friends’ handshakes. We miss their tight and reassuring hugs and the way their cologne smelled. We miss they way the snort when they laugh really hard. We miss being able to talk to them if we wanted to get advice or just to laugh awhile.
We missed their availability.
And so the physical appearance of these people in our lives is forever preserved in that era of time in which they passed. They are now ageless. They will never change or grow old as we are gently doing. We can still see them in their clothing, their hairstyles and their glasses that all date the time of their last appearance to us. All of them styled to the last era when we were with them.
Then, we would then find ourselves around the big table with empty plates now. Quietness is only interrupted by the sounds of the waves crashing outside our open windows.
Staring silently downwards, our group is so deeply sadden by the absence of our loved ones in our lives. We had all fallen quiet in the wine and these pensive thoughts of yesterday and people that we had loved.
Someone then mentions we toast to them.
Then, as if a glass had been broken, this melancholy silence is suddenly shattered when we realize how incredible and profound a gift it was to even have KNOWN, let alone, loved these fantastically wonderful people in our lives.
So, by golly, we smile and we celebrate this fact. And we offer up a big toast and salutation to those people which we love.
The people that still do reside here with us,
Above our happy and music-filled,
blue beach house.