Beer Can Beach

If you smile at me, I will understand
‘Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
in the same language.’


I wait outside the pilgrim’s door
With insufficient schemes.
The black queen chants
the funeral march,
The cracked brass bells will ring;
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the crimson king.

Makua Beach
Feb. 28, ’73

What was happening on the beach now that I had moved into “no man’s land,” could be put into three words, sand, surf, and me. Oh, not to forget Mr. Sun, he’s been wonderful. I had been reading Desmond Morris’s book, The Naked Ape, and, when needed, I had Walt Whitman to hang with. I just bought another book too. It’s thick. It will keep me busy for a long time. It was Jean-Paul Sartre’s book, Being and Nothingness. I hadn’t started reading it yet.

I had seen only two people. Both were shell gatherers. There were a
couple of beach structures standing on the beach, but nobody seemed to be living in them. Well, that was almost true. There was this dog, a white mongrel terrier hanging around. I think she belonged to one of the vacated places. She was hungry because one day, when I returned from beach walking, I found her rummaging through my tent looking for food. Yesterday afternoon, when I returned from one of my walks, she had eaten all my bread. I got mad. Not only was I low on money; it was six miles to the nearest store. I wished that mutt would just go back to where she came from. In better times I would have fed her, but now I could barely feed myself.

Using the remains of a deserted camp, I had managed to put together a pretty nice camp. I had a chair and table. I was eating hot food, and best of all, the weather was great. In the daytime I walked the beach, played my recorder (I played best when nobody was around) and looked for shells. The shells that I found were mostly the little ones that were strung together to make necklaces and bracelets. Everybody in Hawaii wore them. They had a natural hole, which made it easy to string them together. I wasn’t into jewelry, but when I collected enough, I planned to send them to Carol Sue. I thought she would like that.

Since I was a long way from anywhere, water and food were somewhat of a problem, but I was managing, barely. I spent a lot of time listening to my favorite radio station. KIKI was an AM station, but it played FM music. It played progressive rock, the best kind too. Every afternoon at sunset the DJ’s programmed special music. Last night was super fantastic. When the sun was above the horizon, King Crimson’s Court Of The Crimson King was played. At sunset, the Moody Blue’s Nights In White Satin came floating over the airwaves. The DJ’s finished off the gorgeous sunset with Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s great song, Wooden Ships. I had no idea that God’s gift to humanity, the sunsets, could be so improved upon.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to Beer Can Beach

  1. CaroleSue says:

    What you said about the sunsets there, gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, a nice start for this cold blustery winter day in Michigan!!

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Tell me about it. Down here we were supposed to see rain, but it was three inches of sloppy snow and slush. Walking along the river, though, was definitely beautiful. So glad you got a warm fuzzy! Too bad they are so few and far inbetween these days. Summer is around the corner, or maybe the curve? Take care and thanks for the comment.

  2. bwinwnbwi says:

    Indeed, Sartre’s book did keep me busy for a long, long, time. It eventually became the key to making sense out of the following statement/idea: Consciousness is an emergent property of physical reality (matter and the laws of nature) or so said Origin in 1859. I would only add that inclusive in the laws of nature is the freedom to become conscious—conscious enough to discover the laws of nature.

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