This beach is famous for surfing, but on a cold, rainy March afternoon there were no boards skimming the waves in the wild Pacific. Fascinating instead were the arrays of animals and plants exposed at low tide: life isolated and orphaned in rocky basins. Everywhere the sand was flat, smoothed and graded nightly by waves.
Kelp littered the beach like nooses. It twined around the driftwood, slick and rippled with torn fins: hangman's rope from the ocean bottom. I could picture it wrapping around my feet as I swam, dragging me into the dark where there is no air.
I liked the shape of this knot of kelp. In the last light of the dim day, I set up my tripod and photographed it carefully, arranging the shape so it flowed through the frame like the fluid, living, dangerous sea.
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