Solbit Asks, “So Who Is Anish Kapoor and Why Are You Talking About Him on Four Mile Beach?”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Sunny, warm, fine sandy beaches!  Yeah!  Here’s a picture that Papa took (Nona forgot her camera):

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Isn’t that beautiful?  Nona, Papa, and I went for a long walk on Four Mile Beach here in Port Douglas. [Geography Lesson: that’s in Far North Queensland, a tropical part of Australia’s East Coast.]

After he took this photo, Nona and I started down the tropical beach for our walk and a place to play in the sand.  “Where’s Papa?” Nona asked me.  Papa was just standing back there staring.  Nona yelled back, “Papa, wake up! Let’s go.”  He started walking, but I don’t think he was looking where he was going. He stumbled on something. Had his eye on something else.

We walked a long way.  Maybe 1 1/2 kilometers (that’s about a mile) on this wide sandy beach, when Papa said to Nona, “Doesn’t that remind you of Anish Kapoor in Bilbao ?”  (NOTE TO READER: Click on the link to see what Papa is talking about.) Nona replied, “Yes, the extrusions!”  He pointed at this.

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Now, I’m thinking that Nona and Papa are getting old and their thinking is not too good, because, here we are on a beach, and they’re using words that have nothing at all to do with beaches.  “So, who are Anish Kapoor and Bilbao, and why are you talking about them on Four Mile Beach, please?” I asked.  Just then, Papa pointed in another direction and said, “Hey, here’s another one, just like in Bilbao! Beautiful, huh?”

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“Well, they are pretty, but you haven’t answered my question.  Why are you talking crazy on the beach every time you see one of these squiggly thingies?” I asked. Then Nona said, “Hey, there’s another.” We ran to the next one.  These things were all over this part of the beach.

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“Sorry, Solbit, we’ll tell you now.  Anish Kapoor is an artist.  Bilbao is a city in Spain.  A few years ago, when we were in Bilbao, we went to an art museum there.  It’s called the Guggenheim.  We saw an exhibit of Anish Kapoor’s works that were much bigger versions of these ‘squiggly thingies.’ Do you know what they look like?” Nona asked me.

“Oh, yeah, I know just what they look like, but it wouldn’t be polite of me to say what that is, would it?” I replied.  Papa said, “Solbit, it’s just the three of us out here, so you can say it.  What do these things look like?”  I whispered to them, “I think they look like …”  Nona said, “Solbit, it’s ok. Go ahead and say it.”  So, then I said it. “Poop!”  Nona and Papa laughed and said, “That’s right!”

[Biology Lesson:  Uncle Josh’s friend, a marine biologist, emailed Papa: “The piles are likely the castings from a marine worm like the lugworm. (Aranicola)… after they have stripped the organic matter from the sand.  Basically,…forms of poop.”  So, I don’t have to say “poop.” I can say “castings.”]

Papa said, “You know, Solbit, these ‘squiggly thingies’ — the poop — are beautiful, just as Anish Kapoor’s extrusions are beautiful. Sometimes poop is just poop, but sometimes poop is fine art.”  I said, “Papa, you’re making a joke.  I can tell.”  He just smiled. When he smiles at me like that, I know he’s saying, “Solbit, you are so clever.”  I like that.  You probably get that smile from your dad, too, huh?

The next day Nona said, “I’ve got my camera.  Let’s go back to take photos of that beach art that we saw yesterday.”  So, off we went.  Girl, were we ever disappointed.  The worms had stopped pooping — making art — on the beach.  Here’s all that was left of those pretty “extrusions.”

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Papa said, “Well, some of the best art is ephemeral, right?”  I replied, “Right! Hey, what’s ‘ephemeral’ mean?”  Papa said, “Look it up.”  Then Nona told me, “Solbit, it means temporary or only for a short time, fleeting.”  I said, “Oh, of course, that’s just like poop. Right?”

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

May 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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