Paper is one of the few materials that has a memory. If you fold a piece of paper, crumple it, it remembers that fold, those lines, that wrinkle. You can unfold it, heal it, but the memory, the mark remains. Some might say it is damaged, but I think, maybe, that it is just more interesting. I think words can do that to a book. This collection of imprints on a page, lines, dots, all embedded in the sheets of paper. This book becomes alive. Touched by hands, dog-eared, embraced. It holds the memory.
I was walking along the beach in Corsica and I watched this woman reading in the sand. As time went on, the tide kept rising, but she remained fixed in the pages. The water grew up her thighs and her focus never wavered. She was becoming part of the page. The magic of the words.
I knew I would paint her, this stranger on the beach, because she was a stranger no more. I knew her heart, also made of paper. It had been folded and wrinkled and healed, but the memories remained. And she, we, had become, only more interesting.
There were no borders between the sea, her body, the words, her heart. No borders between her and I.
I clutched the folds of my own heart, smiled, and kept walking.