I stand in the stream of sand and hold out my net. The sand rushes past, eroding me.
A variety of objects passes by, some hidden under the surface, others partially visible. I see different metals, tyres, empty bottles, fluffy toys, computer gadgets, countless things flowing past me.
I see a scrunched-up painting approaching me. I hold out my net and the paper slips into it. Only once it’s in my net can I look at it properly. It awakens an interest in the arts within me and it remains in my net.
Next I see a precious rock. I can’t reach it from my position. I struggle against the current as I take steps towards it and reach out with my net. The sand is deeper here. I manage to catch the rock; the heaviness of it strains my arms. I can now see it’s gold.
I turn towards the far side of the stream, where I was. I see another person with their own net, looking towards me. I’m tempted to move towards them but I worry I won’t reach them and I’m tired from wading to where I am, so I remain in place.
From where I am I can reach many things. I catch some blank paper, small jars of paint, and some brushes. With my net in the sand I pick up unseen objects as well, an empty tube of lipstick, more scraps of paintings, shreds of writing. It all builds up in my net.
I take a break from catching things and see what I have gathered. Compelled by the original painting and the other objects I’ve picked up on the way, I spend some time using the paper, paint and brushes to create my own painting. Once it’s finished, I put it back in my net.
My legs are growing weary now, the constant stream of sand making them grow red and sore. I grow fearful. I look back to all the things I missed. An endless stream of possibilities behind me.
It does not matter now. As I lose the strength to stand my ground, my net breaks, and everything I gathered up is scattered into the sand for those downstream.