A letter from the seashore…

sea glass hearts

sea glass hearts

"How do I love thee? Let me count the hearts..."

If we listen with our eyes, we can hear the seashore talking. One of its messages has been condensed into the charming book, sea glass hearts by Josie Iselin (2011, Abrams, New York).

So many of us have memories of walking along the shoreline and seeing snapshots in time of the erosional process on rocks, glass, plastic, shells, wood, and sometimes objects whose presence on the beach seemed incongruous. In this book, Josie Iselin has captured a heart-felt subset of these objects and offers them on pages that burst with light, light that jumps off the page, light that shines like happy hearts.

Printed as a quality fine-art book, sea glass hearts has removed the beach from what some call mermaid's tears, and has arranged the hearts of glass in whimsical arrangements befitting the mythical mermaids themselves.

sea glass hearts book cover

sea glass hearts book cover

Sadly, these sparkles of manmade rock are now in the minority on many beaches when compared with discarded plastics—plastics that disrupt the digestive systems of marine creatures large and small, plastics whose chemistry will continue to accumulate in the food web for centuries. The arrival of glass on our beaches was, in fact, a harbinger of the discarded plastics, not entirely benign but nowhere near as dangerous as what followed.

Fortunately there are numerous programs calling attention to and removing some of this plastic from our beaches and waters. Better yet, there are programs that are reducing the escape of plastic into the environment (e.g. Trash Backwards).

All the more reason why this book has an important place in today's world. As the author says in the introduction, "As plastic replaces everyday glass, we feel nostalgia for bottles and the stories behind them, collected piece by piece along the shoreline. When one of these frosted shards is a heart, however, this unassuming valentine simply embodies the romance of the beach and is thrust into our pocket with a smile."

Beauty, love, smiles—these glass hearts will also serve for centuries as conspicuous reminders of our carelessness and warnings that we must exercise more complete responsibility for our creations.

Add Your Comment


Recent Media Articles

Weigh Anchor: A Hybrid Between a Movie and a Book

Did you ever wish for an on-line story that has the visual benefits of a documentary, but with the ability to self-pace the experience like with a book?

Read More »

Dave Barry Sums It Up

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except…

Read More »

Humorous looks at some of our roles in nature

Underdone Comics (Seattle) — comics about nature posted most weekdays

Read More »

Polluted Puddles: Arlo’s quest to clean up our mess

What’s not to like about a young boy examining puddles and channeling his inner-scientist?

Read More »

Expanding Horizons

We’re ending 2016 by including a new emphasis in the SEA-Media family: interconnectedness. This article exemplifies this theme with 3 very different, but related movies.

Read More »