Painting a Life

Picture this ~ A world with no cameras.

I have not been able to upload pics to my blog, since arriving, in Costa Rica. Today, I have been here one week. This alteration, of my posts, has interrupted my life, like the internet has twisted my reading. It’s an upheaval. This visual denial has shifted my thinking. My brain is climbing the Continental Divide.

I rely on my photos to not only tell my story, but to allow the reader to create, with their imagination, a hybrid. A creation of their own, that I do not control, nor do I want to. That’s what my posts are all about. Sharing my thoughts and my life with others, but in an artistic manner, that allows the reader to choose their own interpretation. That is art. And what is life without art.

I think I am going to break out my paints.


Shawn Messer

This is a pictureless post.

It’s about an old friend, Shawn Messer, may he rest in peace.

If you’re from Fernandina and you die, chances are you’re going to be cremated or buried at Bosque Bello Cemetery. The funeral homes are still-somewhat-segregated, and if you are white, Oxley Heard are the lucky caretakers of your last ride, your bon voyage.

The gathering for Shawn’s dismissal was overwhelming. The small, quaint chapel was filled with attractive, young people; mostly surfers. My strongest memory of that day were the sunglasses. Everyone had on sunglasses. Having recently purchased a pair of Oakley’s, for one hundred and ten dollars, I was counting the money involved. That’s a miserable, throwback from my days as a professional buyer.

Shawn was killed in an auto accident on a dirt road somewhere in Costa Rica. I don’t know where he was going, but I know that he had been at the Mono Congo Lodge, near Playa Negra. He was escorting a mother and daughter from Texas, showing them the country. Those were the days. Back then there were no road signs and few tourists. Only the most adventurous souls were here. The days were filled with empty beaches, waterfalls and solitary sunsets. Any traveler’s dream would be to hook up with someone like Shawn and claim their ticket to paradise.

He had been successful back in the states. He was a builder, landing contracts, on our booming island. He was one good looking man. He bought himself a red corvette, pulled his long dark hair back in a pony tail and hit the town. He was a stand out.

In his bathing suit he looked like Tarzan. He was buff and had a beaming smile.

The real thing about Shawn was ~ he was nice!

I just love people like that. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body.

My husband and I had planned to come down and let him guide us around. We were going to pay him to take us to the breaks. Why not?

I’ve often thought about that trip that never was.

Making my way here on my own wasn’t easy. I would go into the one and only local surf shop back then and ask questions about Costa Rica. They would blow me off and tell me to read a magazine. So, I did. I hooked up with Surf Express, my first few trips, and began to find my way around.

It came to light, how jealous Shawn’s “friends” were of his new life. How they offered him no support. How they wanted to just come down and sponge. Hey, what are “friends” for?  That was another thought on my mind that day, sitting amongst that sea of death and beauty. The words that I had overheard. People degrading Shawn for his lifestyle choice. It had the ring of sour grapes to me. So many people want to live an adventure, but they just don’t have the guts.

Shawn Messer was a pioneer. A modern day Daniel Boone. He unwittingly paved the way for others.

He was my hero.

Long live Shawn Messer. May you be riding the big wave, in the sky. I know that you’re of the soul ~ embraced by the best of the big wave riders.

We are only here on this earth for a short time.

Do we want to be remembered as a mean spirited individual, or a loving aloha, pure vida surfer, secure in our place on the earth and in the heavens.

We could all learn a lesson from the beam of light, that was Shawn’s life.

In Memory of Shawn Messier

Small Town Surfers

Wow-I woke up this morning to a bully on Facebook.

David Von Schude is a made-up character, who posts advertisements, for a local surf shop, Driftwood, and attacks other people’s Facebook pages. I added this person, initially, thinking it was someone else. Then later found out about David’s petty, pugilistic antics. I should have blocked them then, but I didn’t. I really didn’t give it any thought.

When people behave like this they are usually full of fear and insecure.

I don’t live in their world.

I’ll take a slice of peace, please.

David von Schude is a mama’s boy.



394463_2626974885499_344919733_nThere goes Eve!

Eve is from Switzerland. She has been a world traveler most of her life, like many of the people, who I meet in Costa Rica. She is a skater and snowboarder, as well as a skydiver.

It’s going to be nice to meet up with a friend in Tamarindo, and warm up on some small waves. There are bigger waves there at times, but on average, it’s the Waikiki of Costa.

Nobody’s Perfect

IMG_1206You are what you eat~

I resisted this concept – the same as everything else. I had a friend years ago that educated me about nutritional health, through vegetables, brown rice, unprocessed foods, etc.  But did I listen to these word of wisdom ~ no. Now that I am not as contemptuous of good advice and, I am desirous of health, I weigh the same as I did when I was fourteen years old.

Health is wealth~

Yes, I could quit drinking Mountain Dew. However, I’m not adding vodka or anything.

Nobody’s perfect~

Distant Paradise

IMG_1205This was my first painting. Actually, it’s what is termed mixed media. It is painting and drawing, some on the surface and some on cut paper. The class was Design 1. The teacher was Derby Ulloah. The school was Florida Junior College at Jacksonville, in Florida. The assignment was to paint a self-portrait.

Does it look like me?

I went to school as an adult. School was a strange, stressful and fascinating place. I always wanted an education. But instead of going to school, which I deemed impossible; something for other people, not me. Instead, I floundered around in the world, trying to make my way, working all kinds of jobs and never quite getting my feet on the ground.

Once I did start school, I dreamed of it being a means to a new life. I wanted to walk out of my life and into a world of sun, surf, peace and solitude.

And that’s what happened.

It wasn’t so much having the degree, as earning the degree. Such as, showing up and doing what I was supposed to, starting and finishing projects, dealing with beaurocracy and jumping through hoops. I had to meet and deal with new personalities . I had to learn to get along, even when I didn’t want to.

This might sound like every day life for most people, but for me it was a super- challenge.

The exception ~ was ~ I didn’t end up in solitude.

I met people and made friends. I have friends from all over the globe.

Paradise is no longer in the distance.

It’s the ground that I stand on.


frontpictureWhat does it all mean?

The stimulating intellectual atmosphere in which I grew up = Duck!

E=MC squared = something I wrote on the blackboard after watching a Mickey Mouse cartoon. I was mistaken for a genius.

Plank units = the number of boards I have to buy from Home Depot.

Cosmic acceleration = when my car runs without overheating.

Fluid Dynamics

When I catch a wave ~ get up ~ and Go!

Kinetic Energy = when the look on my face changes into the biggest smile possible, as I’m paddling back out.


The Energy image at the top is from a teacher, Cheryl Kerr’s, website explaining energy.

A Sprinkle of Sunshine

IMG_9325shsClear sky ~ out there – calm, serene, a sense of peace.

IMG_9325shsThe clock ticked LOUD.  It was the hammer of death.IMG_9325shs

Her breath was as loud as a freight train ~ mimicking the pace of a long distance runner.IMG_9325shs

So it seemed to her.IMG_9325shs

In reality ~ it rested at the threshold of silence.IMG_9325shs

No more tenseness, no more helter skelter.IMG_9325shs

As darkness closed in, the birds sang and the sun shined.IMG_9325shs