I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, for six years in the 70s.  It was there that I discovered that fine shell beach mixed with water contained the perfect properties for erecting four-foot towers of sand.  Sand castle construction is one of my passions.  I find it deeply satisfying at several levels.

In this blog, you’ll note my joy at shifting scales.  I travel biological evolution, societal transformation & political activism, ontogeny and personal change, observing the connections and correlations that emerge along the way.  This traveling is how I have fun.  Herman Hesse called something like this, the glass bead game.

I don’t imagine there has been a better period in history to watch the dynamic of change or transformation than this era that we’re living in.  Interesting times have ended.  Astonishing times are here.

Fascinated by evolution and transformation, I find myself in the web development profession.  Attracted to the crest of the wave of change, I am a social change/political activist.  I feel lucky to be living now when vast, raw patterns of creation are exposed and seemingly different disciplines or studies (biology, society, ontogeny, the self) are revealed to be playing the same melody in different scales.

Because I play in the sand when I go on vacation, we choose beaches made of fine-grain shell.  Myrtle Beach and Pensacola are perhaps the two best I know.  St. Petersburg Beach is outstanding.  Wherever you go, bring or find children.  Without children, this might become exercise, not play.

If there are children around, they’ll find you.  When they linger, invite them in.

I begin by digging, sometimes for hours.  This initial hole is beyond high tide, so sometimes it is a couple feet before I reach water.  This first stretch is the hardest.  My nails and fingers are sometimes pretty sore by the time I reach water.  Reaching water, I only dig through sand while beneath the waterline, parallel to the surface.  Here it is soft and cool. Eventually, sand caves in above me.  I haul it out and continue digging below the waterline.

By the time I’ve dug a hole big enough to crawl inside, children have arrived.  My hole goal is often a circle or moat, 10 or 15 feet in diameter.  Sometimes I dig a straight line or chasm.  I don’t usually dig it all at once.  Once the children start arriving, I stop and build a tower or two to provide a hint of coming attractions.  One tower is often all it takes to seal the deal and get assistants for the day.

And the play begins.  I estimate one hour is equal to about 200 years.  Civilizations crumble in a day.  Toddlers like giant Cyclops destroy with no awareness of repercussions.  The girls lament.  Little boys leap to rescue towers still left standing.  Dogs charge in, tails wagging, children screaming, more towers fall.  Society is forced to rebuild once again.

Building sandcastles, I am accompanied by several ages of me, inside myself.  I watch the many ages of children relating from their varying ontological perspectives.  I watch civilizations rising and falling hourly.  I play with time.  I play with children.  I play at play.


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