• Between the City and the Deep Blue Sea
  • Jean Burman
Between the City and the Deep Blue Sea


Beach Chic watercolour 38 x 28 cm

The sea is a constant for me ... something tangible and reliable like the tides that flow in and out on a natural cycle of ebb and flow. I love its predictable nature and the fact that you can count on it. Like the moon that waxes and wanes and the star patterns that are static and brilliant and always 'out there somewhere'.

It's just that there's another side to me that longs for the city. The sophisticated ... the sleek ... the chic ... a world brightly lit ... not by the stars in their constellations but by the blur of dazzling lights that flash across wet streets at night. There's a cosiness in the city you don't get at the beach … a warm feeling of staying indoors on a cold rainy night while the lights twinkle outside.

By day you can sit in the window of your favourite cafe and watch people go by. The hectic rush of traffic ... the blaring of horns and chattering voices melding into a grand cacophony of sound. The noise is constant ... just like the tide ... until it's not ... and the city falls into darkness and the people go home leaving only the lights reflected by the rain.

When I was a child we lived in a very old house with a view of the city from the wide-open veranda that towered 30 feet above the backyard. It still surprises me that our mother ever slept a wink knowing there was a drop such as this just steps from the bedrooms we four children slept in at the back of the house.

From there on a rainy night you could almost reach out and touch the city lights that blinked and flickered across the darkness of the river to where our house stood. I remember feeling incredibly safe in that house!

In an odd sort of way the beach and the city are not that dissimilar. The same morning light that filters through towering buildings to the streets below also falls in long shadows across the beach at the end of the day. The rain that falls on the beach, making small pinpoint dents in the sand, also falls on the slick black shiny asphalt that reflects the city streets.

If I close my eyes I can be where the light has taken me before ... where the rain falls softly as I sleep and the stars have shone forever. I will always be somewhere between the city and the deep blue sea. Home is there for me.

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THANKS everyone x


  • Jean Burman

Comments on this post ( 6 )

  • Jun 03, 2016

    It’s about time but it is a beautiful piece and I love it xxx

    — Raylee

  • Jun 04, 2016

    I enjoyed the short break after 9 years of writing and painting and giving my all here on the Blog. My books and other projects have certainly benefited from the hiatus. I’m so glad you loved it x

    — Jean

  • Jun 05, 2016

    Hi Jean, it has been a while! Always lovely to read your posts and see your painting. x

    — Joh

  • Jun 05, 2016

    Hey Joh! You know how it is when you blog … you toss and turn on it… deciding whether to keep going or stop … then you remind yourself that someone somewhere might read something and go “yeah” and that’s what keeps you going ;) So great to see you x

    — Jean

  • Aug 01, 2016

    Hi Jean, Don’t know why I tried your blog after so long, but I’m glad I did—Glad to have you back—I love the idea of stepping out of those “city” shoes, and back to the sea. I’m glad you recharged your batteries and we’ll see you here again soon.-Hugs from across that big expanse of sea-Anita.

    — Anita Sams

  • Aug 05, 2016

    Hi Anita so lovely to hear from you! I believe it does you good to step back from time to time and just wait. Life rushes by with or without us and some intervals simply must be observed :)

    I saw that video doing the rounds the other day… the one about the lobster and how it outgrows its shell … how it retreats under a rock away from predators to shed the old shell and grow a new one. Lately I am that lobster! It’s a great metaphor for creative growth I think. It comes in waves. But you already know that.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope all is well on your side of the sea x

    — Jean

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