The little boy moves amongst his creation in the sand: a montage drawn with a stick, with fingers, with his heel dragged before him as he hobbles backwards. Amidst its various pictures are small mosaics of driftwood and shell, all of it held together by whatever artistic vision fires the imagination of a seven-year-old. He stands slick-bellied in afternoon light streaming through gathered clouds to strike the gunmetal sea. The boy is oblivious to the light, to the sea, to the beachcombers who must adopt increasingly expansive detours to avoid his creation.
The boy stands hands-on-hips, head turned sideways now, trying to assay what’s missing. The boy is single-minded in a manner that is rare among children these days, so successfully have we embedded them in digital distraction. There are no televisions here, no hand-sized rectangles that bind wrists and haul necks downward as effectively as any manacle. Only the sand and the sea and what the sea has cast upon the sand. The boy is free to be single-minded about something, and he is still able. He stoops, he gouges a circle in the sand, and within this a smaller circle, and so on. [Read more...]