I broke my “vow” of silence and asked, “Finding any treasure?”
The man opened his hand, and showing me a piece of common white shell, said very slowly, “Oh yes, I’m finding all kinds of ideas.”
Ideas? What did he mean? Day after day people wander the beaches of the world picking up treasures--the ones they put in their pockets and those that they store in their minds. Shells, stones, and driftwood morph into ideas, which are then transformed into collages, decorations, paintings, inventions, and oh, so much more.
I’m still thinking about the surprise of that brief exchange. I was expecting a more common response—that no, he wasn’t finding anything, or that yes, he was finding shells. But there he was, all by himself, searching for ideas, and, finding them. He and I and the gull alone in the mystery of it all.