(And now, at last, you get to know exactly why these posts have such a bizarre title…..)
There is a second beach at St Ives in western Cornwall, just north of the pier. It is to the west of the Coast Guard (CG) Lookout and the Chapel of St Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen. On the map, it is the yellow area between the two words ‘brothers’ and ‘(w)ater’:
Here’s a general view from the chapel:
A closer view shows you the huge concrete monolith of the Tate St Ives Gallery. To the right is Porthmeor Cemetery which holds the grave of St Ives greatest artist, Alfred Wallis.
Last time, I gave you a brief introduction to St Ives. Its seals and its gulls and its main beach.
One day I strolled nonchalantly into an art gallery, looking for a picture with dogs in it because I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like. I was looking in particular for that picture where the dogs are all playing cards and they have cigars and shades over their eyes. Here is a map with the Orange Arrow marking the place:
I actually found a painting with a story written on the canvas. The story was obviously designed to be uplifting:
Now normally I don’t really go in a great deal for the bumper sticker wisdom you can find on many sites on the Internet. If Life were that easy, we’d all be perfect (inadvertently, I’ve just created one. Sorry about that).
I don’t think you’ll be able to read the story off the photograph, so I’ve copied it out.
I know it’s probably been printed and reprinted a thousand times over, but I had never seen it before, and I can still remember the effect it had on me the very first time I ever saw it:
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. He began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
He called out, “Good morning! What are you doing? ”
The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
I suppose that I should have asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean? ”
” The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”
“But young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it.
You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. “It made a difference for that one ! “