I was walking on Solana Beach Wednesday afternoon heading north. It was crisp, cool, and crystal clear.   The tide was super low, and the tidepools and reefs were exposed. Tabletops, a popular surf spot, was firing and the score of surfers were shredding it.

Grandson Hunter at the tidepools. Tabletops in the backround

 I saw two people—a man and a woman-raking the sand.   My initial thought ‘Are they biologists looking for sea creatures?’ 

I could see that they had raked a large swath of the beach.  A little here… a little there.  They worked very quickly, seemingly independently and randomly.

As I continued walking by, I suddenly realized there were definite patterns to their rakings.   They were creating something.  From the ground it looked like hieroglyphics. 

They were working below the lifeguard tower perched on the bluffs above.  I climbed the stairs to get a better look. 

And, OH MAN! 

Guided Chaos, an Andres Amador creation

I descended to the beach and strolled over to where the couple were raking.   As the man worked his way over to where I was standing, I said

Wow, this is beautiful!   What do you call it?

He smiled.

Thank you.  I call this Guided Chaos.

He reached into his pocket and handed me a small pouch.  

Here are some photos of our work.  Take one and check us out. Now, if you’ll excuse me,  I’ve got to get back to work while the tide is still going out.

He and his rake continued with their frenetic, guided chaos. 

This is the photo I pulled from the pouch before handing it off to another enraptured passerby. It was tough to choose because all of his work is so amazing.

BELIEVE at Stinson Beach, California (Andres Amador)

As soon as I got back home, I googled the information that was on the back of the card I selected. 

Andres Amador

The fellow I spoke with is Andres Amador, a well-known international artist specializing in creating bio-friendly art.  [A link to his website and more of his incredible creations is at the end of the post.]

Much of his work is done on beaches at low tides.   Andres says

I’m perfectly fine with my work being erased within hours by the rising tides.

And I thought, ‘What a wonderful thing to stumble upon on an already gorgeous day.’

Here today…

I’m reminded of that old saying, Here today, gone tomorrow.

The next day I took another stroll up the beach to the scene of Guided Chaos.

24 Hours Later

But, you know what? Guided Chaos is not ‘gone.’

From now on, every time I walk by that stretch of sand at the tidepools and Tabletops, I will always remember this.

Forever Guided Chaos

It’s not gone. It just went somewhere else, equally as stunning and vivid and always accessible.

Thank you Andres Amador for your work and mind-bending creations.

Andres Amador

Here is a link to his website


4 responses to “HERE TODAY…”

  1. Kay Weiss says:

    Just as our children, while no longer here, just went somewhere else. We know that is truth. Thanks, Casey. Kay

  2. Donna Middlehurst says:

    Dear Casey, Just as with our children, who were here and now are not, “guided chaos” seems an apt description of our OWN lives – especially these days. At least I try to make myself feel better by imagining all this chaos is somehow “guided;” we just don’t know how as yet.

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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is a retired attorney and former senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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