Last night, watching a movie with a friend about the troubled and talented Chet Baker. It was painful to endure; the seemingly unrelenting and unforgiving misfortune of others. He ages about 60 years in an hour and a half. A true talent, fallen from a hotel window in Amsterdam to his death, though he had died in spirit several years before. There are interviews in which he rambles, half asleep from smack, unable to string meaningful words together, much less full phrases or sentences. Incomplete notes blown into a wandering darkness. Thoughts seem to elude him the way that his talents once gripped him.
It is not all sadness and loss. There is a scene in the beginning of the film in which they are all stumbling along a beach at night, he and his friends, filled with drunken enthusiasm for themselves. They all seemed happy enough.
The beach and images of the beach are the loneliest. They evoke within me a sense of vulnerability for lost times. There is a tenderness to the images of isolation, of distance across and proximity to the great voids of life. The universal shrug in response to all that stands in front of it, doomed. There is something beyond the shore of the abyss, and it could easily be you.
I was reminded of a time, long ago, in which I sat and made designs that emulated swirls from pebbles and shells on the beach. It was all that I did for a floating afternoon, and it was just enough.