Sand Dancer

Most of us live two lives—one public, one private. In public, we work, we shop, we ferry our kids here and there. These are all good things, but they are also what must be done, the necessary stuff, the glue that holds modern life together.

Our private lives are different, filled not with obligations but with dreams. In private, we create, we imagine, we journey here and there on intellectual adventures. We squeeze this life into evenings or weekends, letting it bloom only in basement rooms converted into studios or miniature soundstages.

A lucky few find a way to merge the two—they live their private lives in public. They may pay the mortgage by pursuing a personal passion, photography, perhaps, or practicing law. Or they may, like this young woman seen on a recent evening at Stinson Beach, unleash their private selves whenever opportunity knocks regardless of how public the setting.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
–  Kurt Vonnegut

Why does she dance so blithely on the sand? Does she perform in tribute to the setting sun? Or maybe in concert with the waves, which celebrate the conclusion of their trans-Pacific trek in chorus lines of breakers? Maybe she’s simply in love, dancing for a companion who stands just out of sight, recording her movements with a digital camera of his own.

Were Vonnegut alive and fortunate enough to be watching this day wane at Stinson, the sand dancer on the shoreline would please him. The world is my living room, she is saying.

Life is my stage. Here I am.

And so it goes.