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Wind + Sand: Learning from art and nature

Welcome to Wind + Sand

If I could sum up the purpose behind Wind and Sand in one word, it would be DISCOVERY. Both art and nature give us opportunities for all kinds of discoveries. Some are small and intimate, like when a plant surprises you with a bloom you didn't know existed. Some are big and loud, like when you finally get the composition right on a six foot abstract painting. I've always been excited to share these discoveries because everyone of them has something to teach us about life and how to appreciate our time here.

The North End, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Yes, these discoveries serve a broader purpose. I can talk about art as a mindfulness practice being good for mental health. I can talk about how art helps us develop the deeper connection with nature that will be necessary to sustain life on this planet. I can talk about nature being the best art teacher. But all of that starts with discovery - instances of awe and inspiration, as well as deeper moments of inner knowing. Creating opportunities for discovery is what I hope to do with Wind and Sand.

As far as the name, I believe it is fitting because it has grown in significance for me over the years. It reminds me of artists and masters of nature I greatly admire - Andy Goldsworthy’s « Rivers and Tides » and Gregory Colbert’s « Ashes and Snow ». It also makes me think of the scene in the desert at the end of Paulo Coelho’s beloved book, « The Alchemist » where « the boy who can turn himself into the wind » speaks directly to natural forces using « the language of the world. » It also opens the door for discussions on Buddhist ideas of impermanence, and emptiness and form. It can serve as a metaphor for how we perceive things as separated into the seen and the unseen, into physical and spiritual realms, and for how we can allow ourselves to be shaped by spirit just as the wind shapes the dunes.It may also be especially relevant now, since our planet seems to be turning to wind and sand. So that’s a little thing we can discuss.

The origin of "Wind + Sand," however, is really pretty straightforward. It’s a simple description of the sensory experience of standing on the beach. Since I've been lucky enough to spend much of my life doing just that, it is what I know with my senses - the wind on my face and the sand under my feet. Simple as it is, this sensory awareness connects us to the present moment and to the time, place and body we are in. It is what connects us to nature, to the language of the world, and to our creative power. It is everything, and it is nothing. Just like all the things I will be writing about. Because after all, as Ted « Theodore » Logan, once said to Socrates, « All we are is dust in the wind, dude.".

- Marlowe Emerson


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