Sunday, January 14, 2007

beach glass

It comes in a variety of colors of course but mostly in shades of cloudy white, brown and Heinekin green. Cobalt blue pieces are few and far between and ruby red is so rare that I have yet to find any at all. I am partial to pale green and in fact a lovely piece of it resides in the new necklace I bought myself from the lone street vender on the malecon on the way back from the beach last night. It was a big indulgence as I have almost no cash to spend here. The grocery store takes my VISA card but I am trying not to run that bill up too much either. We came to PR to work, but there is no telling how long the client will take to pay....

And so I comb the beach for glass. I think that the clearer bits will look great in my stepping stones and am hoping that Amazin' can help me drill holes through the smoother pieces. I had a pair of beach glass earrings once upon a time. I was fond of them until I lost one and I would like to try making their replacements myself.

I have walked the beaches of SPI for over two decades and can count the number of beach glass pieces I have found on two fingers. I have of course come across plenty of nasty shards which I never fail to pick up like the good SoB that wrote these words in "the Unlitter Song":

the sons of the beach well, we live here
and when it comes to litterin' our message is clear
when you see a piece of glass just sparklin' in the sand
stoop down pick it up and throw it in the can!

There is a shit load of beach glass on Viequez. Some areas of the beach are literally paved with the stuff. In the past couple of days I have become more picky about what I will keep, throwing back some pieces as "not ready yet." Me -- throwing glass back on the beach! There is literally so much of it. The edges are no longer sharp enough to cut anything which is I suppose the technical definition of "beach glass" but I crave the cloudy roundness that tells me a bit has been tumbled and shuffled around the beach a good long while.

I greedily stuff fistfuls into my backpack and have even gotten my travel mates to do the same. We spread the daily harvest over the glass table where it glints in the afternoon sun -- a poor woman's treasure trove of jewels. I started with a plastic cup full and have had to upgrade to a pitcher. I fondle the smoothest pieces like worry beads. I sort them by color and arrange them into patterns; imagining how they will look framed in concrete and decorating my garden path. I think about how visitors to my back yard will have to hear the story about the faraway beach that created them.

So perhaps the Unlitter Song needs a new verse:

when you see a piece of beachglass just sparklin' in the sand
stoop down pick it up and throw it in sandy feet's hand!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice piece, Lucinda. Your work must take you to more beaches than most will visit in a lifetime.

The only beach glass I've found has been that which I've purchased at Pottery Barn. I admit that most shells brought home from SPI came from the shell shops. They are my treasures, just the same.

I first visited SPI as a teen 30 years ago. I vividly remember picking up copious numbers of sand dollars on my beach walks back then. I still have them, of course.

Where have all the sand dollars disappeared to? I haven't seen ANY on SPI since those early vacations. Sigh.

Enjoy your "working" vacation. Lucky you. :)

2:02 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Steve Hathcock might know better, but my suspicion is that you'd find more beach glass and bottles down by Boca Chica and the now-gone settlements on the lower Rio. If you had armies and town, you had medecine and booze, right?

As to the sand dollars, they do seem to be gone after all the dredging started. Divers such as as Gene Gore may be able to find a few small colonies but they are not numerous any more.


8:17 PM  

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