Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Television Debut

Today's post was supposed to be about the t.v. show 'The X Factor,' and heaven, and cultivating a culture of celebration.  Writing it was a fun and playful process, and finishing it was cathartic and satisfying.

And then I pressed a button.

This is a very dangerous thing to do when your name is Sarah Jackson.

Within .0000007895 seconds my post had vanished.  I frantically pushed more buttons and tried every technological trick I knew.  But it was gone. Kaput. Finito.  Arrivederci Roma.

In the minutes following the sudden and irrevocable death of my post I was thrust into the stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger and sorrow—because something that once existed and brought me pleasure no longer existed and brought me pleasure.

This got me wondering.  At what point did my post begin to exist?  Did it exist as soon as I started typing it out in 'tangible' blog form?  Or did it exist before that, when the idea was still unfurling into an article inside of me?

Can a blog post cease to exist because I pushed a mean, stupid computer button? Or does it still exist somewhere out in cyberspace? Or somewhere inside of me?

I was soon drowning in my thoughts and needed to call one of my philosophy buddies, and fast.  But then I came up for air and had a moment of sanity in which I accepted the fate of my blog post. And then I marched out to my car, threw in a beach chair and umbrella, and drove to Laguna Beach.

Best. Decision. Ever.

In addition to my beach furniture, I brought exactly nine books that I was itching to read.  I didn't crack open a single one.  There were just too many interesting things to see.

At first there wasn't much action.  I mostly just watched this seagull waddle around.

And then a camera crew emerged from the crowd and stopped to film a ways away from me, and that's when things got cuh-rayzee.

First, two people walked up to the water's edge and stopped, hand in hand, to stare out at the waves.

Several cameramen circled them for a few minutes, and then each man found a position and settled in with his camera focused on the two people.

And the two people kept standing there, facing the waves, hand in hand.

Ten minutes passed, and still they stood there, unmoving.  One man tilted his camera east, after having shot toward the west for awhile.  Another man moved his camera from north to south.

At one point a sound guy ran up to the lifeguard and asked him something,

and all the while the two people stood still, hand in hand, watching the waves.

And that was all.  Cuh-rayzee, right? Thank goodness I was there to document the thrilling sequence so that I could tell you about it.

At one point a bystander began to pepper one of the off-duty cameramen with questions.  The wind was blowing, horns were honking, dogs were barking, waves were crashing, and kids were yelling, but my parents didn't call me 'radar ears' for nothing growing up, and I was able to overhear parts of the conversation.

Apparently they were filming for a new MTV show called 'Catfish' that chronicles the journey of people who meet online, develop relationships, and then meet face to face for the first time.

I could only pick up snippets of the rest of the conversation.

"One of the girls..."

"...But then they were okay with it..."

"...A really good idea..."

Who knows what was going on.  Maybe one of the girls was an undercover CIA agent and the man she met online feared for his life when he was with her because she was always getting calls from her boss telling her to interrupt whatever she was doing to catch people on the FBI's most wanted list.  But then the guy changed his mind and thought dating her was a really good idea because her work ended up thrusting them into really exciting adventures.

Or maybe I've just been watching too much 'Covert Affairs.'

Anyway, if you watch 'Catfish' and you come to the ocean scene, look for me in the background.  I'm wearing a grey sundress, sitting under a red umbrella, and looking at the pictures I've just taken on my phone.  I always hoped my television debut would capture me glued to my phone while surrounded by the majesty of nature.

Naturally, the adrenaline-inducing events of the afternoon got me all antsy, so I left my observational perch to walk down the beach, and then promptly stubbed my toe on a little kid.

I'm not sure how it happened, exactly, but I think it had something to do with the view that held me spellbound.

It's hard to see tiny kids darting down the beach with surprising speed and agility when there are views like this.  Thank goodness he emerged from our little collision with his toes un-stubbed.

Every time I go to the beach every kid that's not in the water is digging.  Some kids are sculpting castles and igloos, some kids are trying to get to China, some kids are making a pool for the pet crabs that keep crawling away.  But they all have shovels in hand and send sand flying.

If an adult, especially a dad, happens to join in the digging, kids from all around cease their sand projects, migrate toward the adult, and ask if they can help him.  There's something about creating, and there's something about dads.

I love seeing the image of God in people at the beach.

I finished the day by eating dinner in a church rose garden in downtown Laguna (lovely!), and then hit the road, Jack.  I love driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset.

You should come visit sometime.  Then we could drive up the coast together.  

© by scj


  1. Oh, to be in Laguna Beach again! Such wonderful growing-up memories with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins along that shore :). Wave hello for me!

  2. I'll wave hello, and splash in the waves for you! Shore memories are some of the best, I think. I often smile at all my memories from Canon Beach days. :)

  3. Laguna Beach! My memories of it include more rocks (as in boulders) and fewer people. I guess back in the 70's, that might have been true...
    I remember going there on a cloudy day. We took a picnic and we were the only ones there... I wonder if my mom remembers it the same way... my version might be warped by childhood fantasies.
    Next time I am in SoCal, I will take kiddo to all my old haunts- including Laguna Beach.

  4. Snapdragon,

    I was surprised how busy Laguna was. I think I'd be happiest if I had it to myself for a picnic...except then I wouldn't have had a television debut. ;) Yes, you should take kiddo to the 'old haunts' (there's that Anne talk!), including a cloudy day picnic at Laguna. That sounds lovely.