I knew today would be one of those days when I put on a black shirt and black denim pants. My only color was a turquoise necklace – primitive silver encasing the brilliant blue of a clear Arizona morning.
I bypassed my usual music, turning the radio to a station that features the likes of AC/DC, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin. Normally I cut such strong music with softer tunes, but not today. Today I wanted to rip into the air with sound.
Outside, a strong wind was blowing, knocking down tree branches and signs, pushing against the people walking along the street. I headed down to Crissy Fields, knowing I would have the beach to myself.
On the way I followed a muscle car – a black Camaro – and stayed behind him until he turned. I wanted to listen to the sound of the car; a deep, throaty rumble, part growl, part purr. A politically incorrect car among all the politely quiet and refined Mercedes, Audis, BWMs, Lexus, and my lone little Focus.
At that moment I would have sold my soul for a Harley.
I left the digital camera at home, and stopped by the photo shop for a few rolls of B & W film. I wanted to feel the heft of my regular camera, and to pay the consequences of a bad shot. And I didn’t want color. I wanted smug black and white, arrogant gray – to capture form and thought and not be distracted by neutral tans and safe blues.
The Bay was stormy, with an extremely high tide. The waves tore aggressively at the beach, depositing weeds and crabs and other debris in the water’s wake. The wind blew directly into the waves, sending sand into the air and water, stinging the skin of my face and arms.
I wanted to rip my clothes off and let the sand burn me clean.
I stood at the edge of the water, facing into the waves, back to the wind. I lifted my arms from my sides, and the wind blew around my body as the water inched closer to my feet.
And there I stood, balanced between wind and wave, face tilted towards the sun.