Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just Grains of Sand

Watch this video.

What this young woman is actually doing is arranging grains of sand on a screen with her hands. She often uses both hands at the same time. With eight fingers, two thumbs and two palms, she creates nuances that toss my emotions around and across their spectrum. She rearranges two percent of the sand and I go from joy to despair.

She doesn't count the grains of sand she uses in each line. She doesn't weigh them. And I'm sure that every time she recreates a picture it is thousands of grains different. Possibly hundreds of thousands of grains. I don't know, I've never counted grains of sand.

She arranges them on a flat surface in such ways that we have no question about what she is portraying. I could not do this and you probably couldn't either, but this young woman does it with nearly unbelievable skill and passion. There is an idea in her mind and her hands manipulate sand in such a way that the idea transfers to my mind. And she does this with tiny little grains of sand that alone couldn't make a stick figure. It takes gazillions of grains of sand arranged just so. Sometimes she arranges by tossing it at the screen.

I'm not only amazed at how she is able to create art out of sand, I'm amazed at how I am able to accurately interpret arranged sand. The fact that each changing scene exists only a moment and then is gone except for the image left in the viewers' brains, only makes the acheivement greater on both sides. And I'm so grateful that I'm able to be amazed by sand.

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