25 January 2018


By Andy Weddington
Thursday, 25 January 2018

When a glint at the water's edge reveals itself to be a sea glass heart, whether startling blue, unheard-of-red, or the common white, we feel blessed. Josie Iselin, Sea Glass Hearts

Just home late Tuesday night from a few weeks of living a simpler pace and focused on drawing and painting, it's now back to reality - with more annoyances than expected, and our sickening politics. 

So before those annoyances interrupt and the irrepressible urge to address our sickening politics returns, a short, about life, that came together while waiting for and riding airplanes ...  

Late Sunday afternoon past a small of plot of beautiful earth about 50 or 60 yards by some 25 yards, high ground separating the Atlantic Ocean and Sea of Abaco, I visited.

Sacred ground. 

For the dead.

For the living, too. 

Peaceful, the cemetery.

Facing the Elbow Reef and Atlantic Ocean
4 x 2.5 in. gouache on paper

It's surrounded by a fence of short white pickets. 

The fence's purpose not to deter but to encircle as if in embrace, to protect, to decorate, and a subtle demand for respect.

Husband and Wife overlook Elbow Reef and the Atlantic Ocean
2.5 x 4 in. gouache on paper

The elements take a toll on everything; man-made or not. 

Headstones missing. 

Headstones illegible. 

Headstones fallen and fractured. 

Grave sites obscured.  

The families of Elbow Cay and Hope Town history - Malone and Albury and Sweeting and Thompson - common. So, too, surnames Lowe, Bethel, and Cash. 

Known by marker or not here they rest. 

A sign posted at the entry announces a restoration project for all Hope Town cemeteries (four, all small, come to mind). 

Opposite the sign a fallen and fractured headstone caught my eye. 

A hasty sketch.

Fractured stone / Fractured glass
4 x 2.5 in. ink and sea glass on paper

MARCH 5TH 1888

March 5th fell on Monday in 1888. 

The last line hit hard. 

I wondered about her parents and their heartache. 

Back at our cottage sea glass, found near a beached sailboat, strewn across a picnic table looked like the fractured stone. So a mosaic. 

10 x 7 in. gouache on paper

Life is full of interesting parallels.

If only to see them. 

Early the next morning again the angels called - Thomas Winer Malone.

He a skilled and well-known builder of Abaco dinghies. 

Beautiful his boats.   

Known as Winer (Mister Winer to some), a quiet gent we exchanged passing pleasantries a few times the past 15 years. 

Unaware he was ill, not a week earlier I sketched his home and adjoining workshop - denoted by a simple but not short white picket fence; meant not to decorate but to protect and deter the curious lured by the sweet sounds of wood being shaped by an artist, and demand respect. 

Winer's home and boat-building shop
2.5 x 4 in. gouache on paper

Late Monday afternoon Winer, 88, was laid to rest - caddy corner to Effie. Death coming forty-two days shy of 130 years to the day (of Effie) - for March 5th is a Monday this year. 

I know not if kin but suspect surely. 

I know folks who own a Winer dinghy. 

I have painted a Winer dinghy more than once. 

And now have, fortuitously if not serendipitously, painted Winer's home and boat-building shop. 

I know other Malones.

Blessed I am to visit Hope Town and call folks named Malone, Albury, Sweeting, Thompson, Lowe, Bethel, Cash, et al. friends. Many others, too. 

Sea glass is a work of art and treasure.

Headstones are works of art and remind us of treasures.

An Abaco dinghy is a work of art and treasure to those who own one - especially one crafted by Winer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Winer_Malone

And ...

When the angels call - we go. 

Post Script 

Where there's people there's politics. Politicians are not artists but certainly pieces of work and hardly treasures. When a guest in Hope Town, I draw the line (and paint) and stay out of it. 

The story of that shipwrecked sailboat: 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

“Headstones are works of art and remind us of treasures.”

Headstones and treasures endure in Nature and in memory. Great stuff Andy.

I know your feeling. On the trips with Nicki, I would return after weeks and never missed the news or those in it. Conditions created by them and of no value.