Wednesday, June 17, 2015

James & Stacee: Forever Young

Josh & Stacee Forever Young (Terrigal June 2015)

Who is Josh? Who is Stacee? Who carved their names in the rock? Josh? Stacee? We will never know (unless the gods of art smile kindly and lead them to this blog). But here are their names, carved lovingly (yes, I think lovingly: look at the detail and the stylish nature of the carving.) on a rock shelf at a beach called Terrigal on the east coast of Australia.

Now, this rock shelf is made up of sandstone and other materials and was laid down as many as three hundred million years ago. Which means that for as long as people have lived on that shore, these rocks have looked much as they do now, but once they were high cliffs that have been eroded by time and the power of the sea.

We can wonder about Josh and Stacee sitting on this spot enjoying the spectacular views, to the north up the coast and out to sea.

In the Harsh Light of a Coming Storm (Terrigal Australia June 2015)

We can wonder at the patience and skill of the carver as she or he spent what must have been hours working on this beautiful declaration of presence and love.

And then we can wonder, whatever happened to Josh and Stacee? Are they now happily married and raising kids in the mortgage belt? Are they young and travelling the world and leaving their names wherever they go? Was it merely an adolescent passion that burned out with age, time, changing tastes and perhaps distance? Or, and this is also possible, are they middle aged (whether together, alone, or with other people) or even older? Perhaps they have even departed this life? Again, as with their identities, we may never know. But, still, we can wonder.

But whoever they are and wherever they are, their presence on that day when this carving was made is there for all to see, and to ponder on. In some way they will remain forever young as people come and go to and from "their" spot and wonder about them for years to come. But for how long? Who knows really?

Only the sea will know this. For one day, their names will be erased from this rock (just as others have been before them). Then, one day long after, this rock itself will crumble and fall into the sea. But, Josh and Stacee will be here and be together until:

"Till the slow sea rise and the sheer cliff crumble"

 PS This last line is from a mesmerizing poem called Forsaken Garden by Algernon Charles Swinburne and written in 1895. You can find the complete poem here

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