The promotion read…“Join Us for an epic day of creating large scale art on the beach!” I have marveled at Andres Amador’s art and here was invitation to create art with his team on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. It certainly sparked my curiosity.
Sand Art is a dance of geometry in motion.We rake away the top layers of sand in long curves, spirals and circles watching our Mandala images emerge. Amador writes, “…there is an esoteric fractal quality of being within the pattern that is being made- it feels to have relevance in other aspects of my life, of building a larger pattern from the inside, not fully knowing what is resulting. And I enjoy wowing people with the creations, of bringing wonder and beauty into the world. “
“Be the paint brush” we are advised as we drag the rakes behind us. “Think like a bird, what would a bird see?” We try to keep track of our design in the sand. Heads down we are focused with our rakes and suddenly notice that the tide is rolling in. We are now engaging our design with the sea. As we finish, we realize that in an hour the images will all be gone.
Amador writes..“there’s the aspect of impermanence that has been so valuable for me to have had the opportunity to experience in such a creative way. The only constant in this existence is impermanence. In the end our lives are about the experiences we’ve had, not the things we have held on to.”
Where does impermanence fit in our lives? Could we let go of some “forever” goals and discover wonder and joy in smaller scale less permanent goals? It is freeing when we realize that we don’t have to commit to a task, a project, a job forever.
As we walk away from our creation, I will remember the colors, the sand, the wind, my fellow creators, the final product and all the beach walkers who stopped to engage with us as we created. We stand as the sun sets and the tide slowly covers our creation. The image is slowly fading and the sand reclaims the beach. We stand in wonder of the day and know that going forward another beach will call us to create.
It is this cycle of creating and letting things go while holding on to the relationships and outcomes that has the most powerful metaphor for me. I wonder if the next creation will have a different metaphor emerge.
What could you create that would not be permanent but would create curiosity and wonder in yourself and others? Grab a rake and head to the beach, a path, the snow…see where your raking meets wonder and curiosity.