First Draft

It struck me how perfect the images were. Maybe it was because I was so starved for the kind of idyllic, peaceful, calming, and restorative scene that was depicted. The sound of the ocean always calms me, the horizon is consistently mesmerizing to me. I am no fan of seagulls, but when they bob and weave and screech on the beach, yes, I no longer yearn for their extinction. White sand is the only sand that should be allowed on beaches. The lovely detail of how pristine the sand looks caught my eye. A few shells and pieces of seaweed and some driftwood were just the right accents.

I love to watch the waves roll in. That second or two from when you hear the roar of an oncoming wave, and then where it peaks there is just a flicker of silence, and then it crashes on the shore. After a week on the beach, as we drive away, we always mourn for the loss of that sound. All the intricacies of the beach, near the surf, the sounds, the smells, the bright sunlight blasting off the water – it was all captured in its perfect essence.

The details and the nuances always make me smile. An umbrella emblazoned with the “Corona” beer logo, pink flip flops sitting askew alongside the beach chair, a Barbara Cartland novel open across a woman’s chest, her floppy hat pulled down over her eyes while she allows the ambiance to lull her into a half-sleep, as she yearns to stay just conscious enough to be aware of the paradise that she currently inhabits. Huge, dark-framed sunglasses affixed to her face to allow her to snooze or people watch as her wont allows.

Children are visible off in the distance frolicking in the water, howls and screams puncture the air as waves crash in and knock them about or pound their most recent sand sculpture. The world is far enough away to not matter, and you’ll be back in it soon enough.

At least that’s how perfect this painting was in my mind’s eye. Shortly after it was finished, the sprinkler system was triggered and left us with this. But I still see all of it.

I would like to thank Mark O’Brien for giving us this opportunity by facilitating “Finding Your Voice.”, Anne O’Brien for giving us the inspiration, and my fellow participants Laura Staley, Yvonne A. Jones, Maribel Cardez, and Helen Qiu

Featured image courtesy of Anne O’Brien


Tom Dietzler
Tom Dietzler
Lifelong, proud somewhat strident Wisconsinite, I love my state and love to sing its praises. A bon vivant and raconteur, lover of history, literature and good conversations. Laughter and music are salves that I frequently am applying to my soul. I have spent time (too much) in manufacturing and printing and have found great joy in my current position as director of operations at a large church in the same area where I grew up. Husband to Rhonda and father of two adult children Melanie and Zack, I’m the constant companion of my five-year-old Lab, Oliver, who is my muse to a lot of my stories. I’m a fan of deep conversation and my interests are in learning and gaining wisdom, so in the last few years I have become and less politically vocal, and hopefully more respectful and open-minded. Rhonda and I sold our home in 2018, bought a condo and have traveled a bit more, golfed a bit more and are enjoying life a bit more. If you take the time to get to know me, prepare yourself for an invite to the 30th state to join the union, a gem located in the upper Midwest, full of beautiful scenery formed by the glaciers, with lots of lakes and trees and gorgeous scenery, and the nicest people that you’d ever want to meet.

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