I took the dog for a walk on the beach this morning. As usual, there were few people there: a regular with his blue heeler, a man with two little children and no dogs. The seagulls picked at the seaweed at the tide line, waves, rougher than usual, slapped on the sand. The recent rains augmented the creeks that ran across the sand to the ocean. I stopped to contemplate the depth of the rushing water in the creek and wondered if I could carry my twenty-pound miniature schnauzer over that turbulence (she doesn’t like getting her feet wet) when a friend came jogging up behind me. We stood and stared at the water and discussed music and the weather until finally she mentioned that her family had suffered a fire in their home. How bad? Not much fire damage but lots of water damage in the bedrooms and her art studio.
“My paintings,” she said. She meant the ones she had painted herself.
Losing your paintings must be like losing the only copy of a novel. All that work, all the creatively. You could never do it again. The enormity of it struck me dumb. There wasn’t anything I could say that would make that loss better.