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Boat Club in a Time of War

Cape Cod seems such a marvelous escape. Anyone who can be there in "the offseason" is able to wander wide spaces of beach under big skies, or poke into quiet coves undisturbed. Anyone who can be there in the summer is on vacation, away from job or rest of life, with family in an intense and happy way, constructing memories to last a life, or indulging a life of memories.

It is peace, it is beauty, it is good.

But of course the world has some other dimensions, and they intrude on this idyll. Jets thunder out of Otis into the skies over Buzzards Bay, and even on the most pleasant beach day it is easy to remember that we are at war, even if we are here to forget things like that.

This picture I have been working on is about the intrusion of some of those other realities on this idyll.

It shows the West Falmouth Boat Club, scene of many happy outings, center of a fleet of vacation craft, and iconic setting of many pictures about the pleasant summer memories.

This image has all the elements of boat club icon -- the bright sunny day, the gentle breeze, the dinghies at the dock -- but I think it has a more sober mood. The water is still, the dinghy is empty, the flag is ambivalent in its curl, the bare rocks emerge from the tide like a half-hidden graveyard, and the sun is harsh. You might not want to be out in it.

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