In my 23 years of living on the Oregon Coast and walking our socialist ocean beaches approximately 10,000 times (that’s no exaggeration, I did the math) I had never come across such a calculated act of vandalism until a day or so ago. Yes, a few times someone had used a Sharpie on a driftwood fort to declare something or the other, but nothing like the spray painting on a rock pictured here.
I might add that I am not counting the occasional graffiti that appears below the turnarounds at Nye Beach in Newport or in Seaside. Those places are in essentially semi-urban areas heavily trafficked by tourists and miscreants and the vandalism takes place on concrete walls and abutments.
The graffiti I encountered was on a very remote stretch of beach, and when I saw the heart and the initials, it braced me. What it meant is that someone, or perhaps a couple, had brought a can of spray paint down to the beach to leave their mark. I mean, no one just randomly carries spray paint while visiting a beach like this.
I wasn’t angry, just disappointed in the arrogance of it all, even if the “act” was in the name of love. The design wouldn’t last a month in the winter rain, perhaps an unfortunate metaphor for the lovers. I did wonder if they would ever return to see if their mark still stood. Or considering the metaphor, only one returned and laughed or cried when the mark wasn’t there.
Next time, they might try carving a little heart and initials into a hardwood tree. Much more romantic and long lasting. And if the love was meant to be, they might return in 10 years to trace the carving with their fingers and remember the passion.