Every summer my mother wages a war against sand. It is a war she will never win. But she fights the good fight—asking us to please wash our feet before entering the house, placing mats and cute porcupine-looking sand-brushing apparatus by the doors, constantly sweeping, and generally remaining baffled by how much sand one family can drag into the house each day.

As I now live in California this is a battle I won’t see. A battle that, oddly enough, I’m finding myself missing.

My absence should make my mom more successful this year. For as hard as I try, I never get all the sand off of me, and I can’t seem to muster the same disdain for it. I routinely find myself exclaiming, “it’s a beach house!” So when I came across these photos I couldn’t help but laugh. I am almost certain this is what my mom is imagining as she sweeps each day, and it is probably the recurring nightmare she has each night.

So here I am admitting it: a little bit of sand left unattended every day does have the potential to become an out of control situation.



But don’t you find something beautiful about it? The sand laying claim to an area that was once it’s own. Nature overwriting our history. All that amazing deconstructed paint—Weathered and worn.

I imagine a hundred year old woman whispering things like, ‘This was once the kitchen’… ‘Here is where I slept’…

I imagine a time-lapse image.

I imagine something so much larger than myself, or my life.

I wonder if all my recent aesthetic adoration’s and foray from modern to more traditional are more about wanting to believe in something bigger than myself—a force of nature, a natural plan—than in actual appearance…
Then again, maybe it’s just the cities. SF is much less of a concrete jungle than NY. More wood. More color.

These images are from Kolmanskop, Namibia. The town, built in 1908, came complete with a casino, school, hospital and exclusive residential buildings. It was created around diamond mining. Over 1000 kg of diamonds were extracted before World War I. However, the amount of gemstones greatly diminished after the war, and considerably larger diamonds were found to the south near Oranjemund, causing Kolmanskop to become a ghost town. It is slowly being swallowed up by the desert.

One Response to “forgotten”
  1. Allison says:

    I like this post very much because it is about my mother too, and Rebecca is so dead on. Sandy feet inside BEACH house here I come.

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