Many of us question death, and many people ask what comes after life? But many people seem to avoid such questions like where do you find yourself at your final breathing moments? For me personally, I’ve always loved going to the beach for fun or just to relax. But another reason that prompted me to use the beach as my theme is how the location (beaches in general) are symbolically linked to death. Think about it like this: how are the sands that we now use to practice our leisure time got there? Death. Well not exactly, but through many patterns of erosion (the process of which rocks are formed through chemical or mechanical forces of nature and human beings). Rocks go through a particular series of mechanical erosion patterns, practiced by the strong currents and the continuous smashing of waves. Rocks that are affected by this are beneath the surface of the ocean, something that most people don’t think about. These rocks, after facing many processes of erosion, are grinded down and deposited closer to the shore until further erosion deposits them on the shoreline as sand. These sand particles now take up our beaches, and are used by everyday people, whether it be hanging out with friends playing volleyball to families getting together allowing their offspring to enjoy the fruits of nature. The sand dispersed across the beaches of Long Beach, California resembles the death of rocks that were once massive, and that were present among a vast generation of previous human and animal life. Sand represents the last breathing moments of rocks until they are reduced to dust, and blown away through the winds.
I had a lot of fun with this activity! The idea behind this piece was that I was with my friend on his boat moments before this was taken, where a storm hit us, throwing me overboard. It was here that the forces of nature would get the best of me where I would be battered and beaten by the oceans currents and waves, eventually being washed up ashore with a few breathing moments as I laid gazing up at the sun. I wanted to use sand as my “deathbed” because of its symbolic representation and processes that go about death. Death, being a topic that is not discussed enough, has been more present with me now after completing this activity. Personally, I find myself more invited to death where I typically use fear as my motivation to get through life. However, not all people are like this where death is often feared by most people, and remains a constant terror for some individuals. This activity has made death for me a more inviting topic: I feel more relaxed talking about it.
As to how I would change the activity, I wouldn’t want to have done it much differently. Except maybe block out more of the sun: it was really bright and there was not as much overcast as I hoped.