Gwada postcard project
In the Spring of 2010, a friend and I spent over a month in Guadeloupe. It's a department of France, not touristed much by Americans. In France, beaches are public. All the beaches. The water. And the blue. The surprise of how easy it was quietly drained your body of the memory of the urge to escape anything.
We'd be driving around. The road would frequently run along the water, with just coastal trees between us and the beach. Then there'd be a clearing where you could see out to the blue.
One of us would say: did you see that?
The other would look over and nod.
We'd drive a little further.
One of us would say: maybe we should stop.
The other would nod.
At the next place to park, we'd pull over. Could be room for half a dozen or ten cars on the side of the road. Grab our gear from the trunk and walk through the trees to the beach.
No one was there. Maybe a family or two. A few people here or there.
Mainly, it was just beach.
And another version of that color blue.
Almost immediately, I began making postcards. I'm still thinking about what it means and whether it matters that I made some there, and some here long after returning—what it is I want to remember, or for you to see. That seeing is still not the same as running my hands over the body of it. Still, I want to see it again, to remember, to work it out again, to evoke something of what it was like breathe that color blue.
It's something about location and time. And again. "Again". Repetition. Successive approximations, like athletes training. Paying attention. Being in it with enough time to breathe all the way in and all the way out.
It's about the difference we decided existed between home-life and travel.
Work and play.
Why we invented postcards.
How it's all, all of it is about: wish you were here.
...Did you see that?