The Magic Bay

I like pebbles. I like walking on pebbles that massage my feet, lying on pebbles – turning over and seeing a map of those eternal beings imprinted on my body, slowly disappearing. I like the way the sun reflects on them in the water and how they reflect it back. Pebbles, unlike sand, don’t interfere with its clarity – they highlight it.


This pebbly beach is perfect, the water is deep almost as soon as you step in. It’s a long open sea bay, and you can swim along the shore for miles… or a mile or two, which I do. I swim towards the cliff that frames the bay, having spotted a cave there.


I’m close, and as I look up towards the shore, I notice some weird creatures on a little beach separated from the rest by a rocky wall. I swim towards it, abandoning the cave for now. As I get out of the water, I find myself in a magic kingdom of colourful creatures. They are tall, quaint and appear to be alive. I can imagine them coming to life and dancing their pagan dance to the sound of the waves under the moonlight.


I spot a bicycle propped against a rocky wall. And a ‘workshop’ of the quaint artist on the rocks with a fireplace next to it, carved in the rocky side of the mountain. And, at last, the Artist himself. It takes a moment to see him – as he merges with the scenery and looks like one of the creatures that he gives life to, his bronze leathery body assuming a quaint posture. He seems to be just as surprised to see me appearing from the sea as I am to find myself in his kingdom. I walk up to greet him. He smiles, asking if I swam all the way. He doesn’t often have visitors here and seems happy to share his story when I ask him.


Every year he collects ‘the gifts’ of the sea – rocks and pebbles, a bicycle wheel, pots and many other things. He paints them and creates his sculptures – that only live until the sea reclaims them. And when the winter is over, he returns and recreates his kingdom. He uses no glue. “It’s all about balance,” he says, and smiles.


I watch this sun-drenched man, the Artist, who creates for the sake of creation, detached from the result, ever so evanescent.


It takes balance within to create balance outside, and to keep on recreating, as the seasons change and the sea calls.


I love pebbles that share their heat with me, without asking anything in return, just as this artist creates without expecting any recognition – except for a rare soul that chances upon his distant magic bay.