• Fran Stewart

Reading Faces

A bunch of years ago, I visited my friends Karen and Dan Santa Rita in Florida, and they took me to a beach where I found dozens of these little shells. Now, I’m sure there was no intent to make them look like teeny faces, but by golly, they sure do.

Sometimes we writers spend a lot of effort trying to get the description of a particular face exactly right, since so much can be conveyed by the facial expressions of our characters. But I have to admit, I’m stumped when it comes to describing a face that isn’t a face—a face that is a shell.

All I have is this photo. I’m not one to bring shells home from the beach. I tend to agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson, that “the shell without the sea” is just a poor shadow of “the shell with the sea.” I paraphrase, of course, but that was the gist of what he said.

So I’m not going to try to capture this intriguing “face” in words – but don’t you just love those eyes?

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