Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More sea treasures (or is that trash?)

In an earlier post about gleaning treasures from the sea, I quoted Thoreau describing the beach as a "wild, rank place....a vast morgue" and I blithely suggested that one man's morgue is another girl's treasure chest -- or some such nonsense.  Well, on Monday I had that all put into a new perspective:  My friend Lissa, who lives here in Eastport, mentioned that there is a beach below a dump that hasn't been used since the turn of the last century.  "Ahhhh, treasures!" I thought.  Well, yes, there were treasures; and to balance my post, I'll begin with an image of some treasures I gleaned.
marbles, medicine bottles, ceramic shards, and even a little porcelain bird!

Yes, there were treasures.  But what shocked me was all of the trash!  I'm not talking "modern" trash -- so, fortunately, there was no plastic -- but so much glass and metal that I was really glad I had my hiking boots on.  In fact, as the waves came in, I didn't hear the customary swish of water on sand or rocks but the tinkle of glass -- like wind chimes under water.  Here are a few shots of the scene of what we humans offer the landscape:
notice the melted bottle? Yes, the dump fires left a lot of strangely shaped glass
I'm not sure the tire is vintage turn of the century!

The child's size insole was poignant in all the detritus

I know that we generate more (and worse) trash today, but the site of all this sliding into the ocean made me think of the lifespan of all the objects I have, use, and/or discard.  Yes, we recycle now.  But I couldn't help thinking of the huge knot of plastic in the pacific ocean as I picked treasures from this trash.

Stay tuned for a more uplifting post about my amazing two weeks in Eastport, Maine!!

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