One of my favorite places in the world is a beach that begins at and surrounds a dead end. The painting, Dead End at National depicts a sunset I witnessed there. Several of the works in the Genesis: Sunset: Sunrise series are from sunsets I have observed and photos I’ve taken within yards or half a mile at most from this very spot.
Locally, we call this beach “National” since it borders the land of the famous National Golf Links. However, since all beaches are owned by the public here, there is access via the dead end. On one side one can fish or from the other side swim, when the weather permits. I have taken my dog(s) for walks throughout the year along this beach. Even the winding drive to the area is a treat during all four seasons in any weather safe enough to drive through.
Dead End At National, 2007
Genesis: Sunset-Sunrise series
Texts used for strokes: Genesis 1-2:7, Deut. 6:4, Psalm 20 frame
24 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas
I have swim here in the summers and collected shells since I was a girl. It is where I went fishing with my Dad and then many years later my then own young son.
I prefer to leave my vehicle and walk along the beach. That is a much different experience from cruising along in my Honda Passport. However, it is also a good experience. The experience of time and space is differs from driving along a beautiful winding road to walking along a quiet beach, with pebbles and shells crunching beneath one’s steps. Sometimes the way we experience life, its joys, sorrows and challenges seems to change the perception of time and space also.
For instance, we all share times in our lives that we remember exactly where we were when we learned specific news. Boomers know where they were when they learned that JFK had been shot – and likewise John Lennon, and for many MLK and RFK also. All of us know where we were when we learned of the horror of the jets flying into the Twin Towers . Our memories are not only of where we physically were visually, but most of us can recall the temperature of the place and even the scent, and perhaps, even the sound of the voice of the news. Time seems to expand and the moment becomes super real and forever etched in memory.
Moments when life changes, when we wonder how we will go on — what we can do—how life as we know it can go on, are challenging and changing. Yet often it seems as if life just continues on somehow, but the way we see life, our unique interior views, have forever changed. These are dead ends that are openings to transformation.
In the painting Dead End at National we are standing at a dead end yet overlooking a beautiful sunset. There is more, there is beauty and glory, even hope and promise beyond the dead end where the viewer is poised. The question is, will we decide to reach out and move beyond the seemingly solid dead end and embrace the promise and beauty beyond or will we turn back and scurry into the safety of the paved and familiar routine?
I have swam here in the summers and collected shells since I was a girl. It is where I went fishing with my Dad and then many years later my then own young son.
I have walked, bicycled and arrived by various vehicles to this dead end. There are many ways to reach a dead end. For me, this very real dead end means the achievement of a wonderful destination. The first time I was in Southampton again and back on my bicycle, after years of fighting and finally overcoming acute and chronic Lyme’s disease, I headed for the dead end at National. I wept tears of joy upon reaching that destination, when just five years prior I could barely stand or walk.
So, although the sign says, “Dead End”, it also signals beginnings and good times, which are blessings.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.
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