Helen Vechurko
9 min readAug 21, 2021
ocean view
photo by me, Helen Vechurko

When on the summer day you press your ear to the beach sand and slow your breath, you start distinguishing tiny signs of the underground life, like there is a hidden civilization underneath. In my theory, these are lost and forgot objects and stories. When you listen to it for a while, you blend with the sound. The wind is your breath, the sand is your skin, and the wash is your heartbeat. Sometimes you can catch patches of dialogues in an unknown language. Nature is the best DJ when it goes about special effects.

It’s been a while since I’m here, motionless, my cheek half-covered with the sand. I look like a typical sunbath lover with the only difference I’m not into sunburns and UV-aging. What you see here is a farewell, not to call funerals. In Eastern culture, we are taught to take it as misery. I’m here to celebrate though. It’s my liberation day. By the time the sun is drowned in the waves, I will be free.

I haven’t been on my own since the day when I’ve landed at the Lisbon airport, my hopes tightly packed in the suitcase one would consider a good fit for a week trip. In my case, it was a journey with an open end date.

We are close to the golden hour. There are two loud ladies stretching their big bodies on a huge stripy towel. A bunch of kids scream and laugh of excitement jumping and sinking in the waves like a shoal of dolphins. I watch the dance of sunbeams in the water until it hurts. The image becomes blurry. Patches of chats and giggling fall apart and lose the context. In few moments the sun will start going down till it’s fully drowned in the ocean.

By the time navy shadows will grow longer and longer until they swallow this scenery in blue and yellow I’ll be enjoying my solitude. It’s time to start.

“Earth to earth…”

I work with my palms to dig the hole in the sand. I want to work it faster, but I can’t. Rites don’t stand any hurry.

“Ashes to ashes

Dust to dust

Now it’s a farewell time…”

And I take the polaroid picture out of my beach bag. It’s probably not what you expected for this kind of ceremony. But I’m an image-maker in the end and a cold flesh doesn’t get along with my perception of beauty.