Posts Tagged ‘art in public places’

I was looking around the driftwood for whatever there was to find and having a good time.  I found this toy giraffe head with the puffy cheeks.  I also had the good fortune to watch from a distance a beaver that was cruising close to the riverbank.  It’s only the second one I’ve seen out here that was alive.  I kept trying to get closer to take a better picture, but soon the beaver spotted me and dove underwater.  I never saw where he eventually resurfaced…but I know they are out here.  Their chewed willow sticks are among my favorite materials to use for my art.

It was shortly after the encounter with the beaver that I met Marlin for the first time…in fact he tried to scare me away!!  He took me by surprise and I don’t know how someone or “thing” so large was able to approach me without my knowing it?  Soon I learned that Marlin can move quietly when he wants to.  Here are my first camera images of him that I shot reflexively as he attempted to frighten me away.

When I clearly was not going to flee, his face actually took on a more fearful expression as though he was more afraid of me to begin with. 

I did my best to reassure him that I was out here at the Falls to be respectful and appreciative of being out in nature and this seemed to reassure him some.  I found out during the ensuing conversation that his name comes from the fish image on his bling necklace he wears.  It was also found out here among the driftwood and so we had some common ground right away.  We are both beachcombers of a sort.  Here’s a better look at that fancy necklace that I thought was a kid’s canteen at first, but now I have no idea what this really is except it’s a toy of some sort.

Getting to know Marlin a little, I learned he was a bit of a philosopher and observer of life.  Human beings in particular have been a favorite object of study.  Marlin mentioned how impressed he was with our ability to create something out of nothing, but was mystified why we couldn’t see the bigger picture and ramifications of our actions?  We took a walk together along the river talking about this topic.

Marlin said he saw many people out here and some even brought their children along.  He said he enjoyed this notion of one generation following in the footsteps of the one that came before, but was worried that the wrong lessons were being transmitted about how to treat nature.  He walked a few feet from me and bent down to pick something up he found lying in the dried mud and sand.

It was a plastic sack full of trash left behind probably by fishermen.  Marlin found it confusing that a person could bundle their refuse so carefully and then forget to pack it out.  It was left to rot on the riverbank.  When other people see that this kind of behavior is tolerated…it just encourages them to do the same.  Marlin wondered if it was part of humans’ natures to be so contradictory and if so…how did that help our kind rise to the top of the food chain?  He also wondered why someone else who saw this bag of trash didn’t take it with them…even if it wasn’t theirs?  I’m afraid, I wasn’t able to provide much in answers to his questions since I struggle as a human too with this issue.

Marlin moved closer to the water and said that if this bag were left unattended that it and whatever the contents were would surely find their way into the river.  I couldn’t dispute that.  Marlin also said that people like coming to the river to recreate and that ultimately their very drinking water comes from this source…why would you foul it?  Other life forms like fish, birds, and even that beaver I watched earlier all depend on this water to be as clean as possible.  Why would we be so careless as to poison it with all our various waste products?

Water is the lifeblood of the planet and we can’t even imagine life without water.  It is a precious resource!  I listened to Marlin preach a little more and then told him I had to go home.  As I said my goodbyes, I took that bag of trash Marlin found with me and deposited it in the nearest trash can I could find.  I promised Marlin that I would try to do my part by also spreading the word about keeping our shared planet as clean as possible.  This is how Marlin looked…as he parted company with me.

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