Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Zonsondergang = Sunset

Better late than never: I'm finally getting around to posting photos from my trip to New Jersey in mid-July. It was the first time in many years -- perhaps since the mid-1990s -- that I've been able to visit there during the height of summer, and it was glorious and bittersweet. In some ways, it always feels as if I never left, but of course I know that I have and that visits like this one are somewhat rare.

I spent time at the family beach bungalow on Long Beach Island with my mother, grandmother, uncle, brothers and their significant others -- and in the case of my youngest brother, his stepdaughter and my 13-month old nephew. Writing about it now, it seems like it was so much longer than two months ago. Summer vacations have often been like that for me: dreamlike in their intensity and the way they're carried forward into memories.

After the age of about eleven, I grew up in a town that wasn't on the ocean, but was located in Ocean County nonetheless. This meant that the water was never much more than a thirty-minute drive away or so, to towns with names like Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights. But summer vacation was further south, in Surf City on Long Beach Island, and as cliched as that name sounds, nowhere else evokes summer and the beach for me more.

Here are just a couple of the many pictures I took there this summer. I chose to title this zonsondergang due to the fact that I often remember my art teacher in high school telling us that he was enamored of Dutch landscape paintings because their sweeping renderings of sky and flat marshland reminded him a lot of our landscape along the New Jersey coast (he lived much closer to those beach towns, one of the towns on the bays, inlets, and creeks). It may seem like a silly comparison, but I can see it easily -- the incredibly flat land, the tiny sliver of marshy bog beneath a tumultuous and colorful sky... this is sunset over the Barnegat Bay:


SubtleKnife said...

Impressive. I still hold that we have the best skies, of course...

Although I remember a poem by Lévi Weemoedt that went something like this:

Wat zeuren wij toch over wolkenluchten
Die je nergens anders ziet?
Ik kan de brave vaderlanders melden
Dat ook Toscane zulke luchten biedt.

BigAssBelle said...

What stunning photos! I am so glad you had a wonderful time.