Why do I keep going back to the beach in my design?
Updated: May 6, 2020
After sitting in my traditional face brick rental house for weeks in the orange-tinted suburbs of dusty Pretoria I find myself repeatedly drifting off in my mind’s eye to the warm golden sand of the Durban seaside. How I long for the cosy hug of a berg-wind, or the constant lullaby of waves crashing ashore. As I let the waves wash over my mind rocking me to a peaceful place it is offensively interrupted by the scream of the tired breaks of a hurried mini-truck screeching to halt before a minor speed-bump just outside my suburban home. A shot of anger arises in me when I see that the driver is transporting the orange utilitarian face-brick to a site. Why! Why does it make me so angry to see those bricks?
It is a vitriolic, uncontrollable reaction I have to that colour, and those awful ugly bricks specifically. The buildings in Pretoria east are plagued by a plethora of rust to burgundy coloured face-brick; what is it about this that bothers me so much? Is it that the colour reminds me of the dust that collects in the parched summers on my once-white coffee table? Is it a reminder of the arid landscape whose thirsty cracked ground is cooked by the unforgiving dry sun of Pretoria’s eastern Suburbs? Or is it the colour of autumn and the temporary death of what was once the plush greenery that enveloped the melodic birds around us? What ever it is, I do not appreciate it one bit, and I go back to my fantasy of humid breeze that brushes past me on the way to the lazy store.
Then, like a ton of bricks, it hits me; the beach is not just a peaceful collage of subtle hues of blues, golds, and whites. It isn’t only the kind of warmth you get from sitting around a winter fireplace with hot cup of chocolate, and it isn’t just the sense of tranquillity and reliably consistency in watching the waves re-shape the easy-going shore through the passage of time. These bricks represent everything that the beach is not. The beach is not dry, it is not rough and utilitarian, it does not have sharp corners and is not the colour of life-less dust. The beach not only represents rest, and an inner calmness that soothes the otherwise hurried soul, it is not just that the beach is an escape from the busy world around us. The beach is home. And home is where the heart is.
I realized it was because the beach had always been where my soul is at peace. it was Home.