I love this picture. This guy is just sitting on the beach reading, and there's a boat that washed up on the shore behind him. One wants to say, "Hey mister, did you know there's a boat behind you?"
I'm sure he knew about the boat, actually. It had been there for several days before I took this shot, and he would have had to come from in front of the boat from his beach villa to set up here. Perhaps at one point in the day, he found it interesting to watch the boat for a while before turning in the other direction and taking up his book. I know I found it fascinating and stood at the boat for a long time myself.
I don't know the story of the boat. It was just there where I arrived at the beach, with some police tape flapping from one of the masts. I'm sure it was an interesting and probably very sad story. But without taking the story into consideration, it was striking and rather funny really to come upon a boat washed up amid the jellyfish, driftwood, coconuts and seashells that dot the beach. Oh, look, a boat.
So it's kind of funny.
And also, I think this photo is a fair representation of the way we live our lives sometimes. It's the beach equivalent of the pink elephant in the living room. We're absorbed in one thing while something else that's huge and rather unusual is sitting right behind us. And we're oblivious, or at least trying to be.
On the other hand, it's also a representation of how we need to live sometimes. Something large and unusual has happened, and yet we have to get on with our lives. And so we find a way to focus on what's at hand even as we know there's something looming, something that we can't do anything about.
I suppose one last way to interpret the picture might be to imagine the boat as God, having arrived in the guise of something else, something unusual, standing guard over the man while he goes about his day. God is not, of course, a washed-up boat, but God is certainly unpredictable and not tame.
At any rate, I like this photo for many reasons and was glad to have had the opportunity to be there in person and to have the photo for reflection purposes in perpetuity. Or until my computer crashes and I lose it.