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The End of the Color Wheel

Photos by: Jason Rath and Shawn Tracht

The End of the Color Wheel 1

When I woke up, the sun had shattered and spewed into whiteout.  The alarm clock rang incessantly, like a little baby crying hysterically, a wet siren, a blurbing screech, waiting for someone to come save its soul.  Looking through the open window, I was afraid that I was being taken for a ride as my mind’s norm was being swept from underneath me.  I knew it was bound to happen someday, and figured that with the end of the world predicted to come–by some old guy looking for God-like status in an over-sensationalized world of hype and salesmanship–big change was inevitable, though the reality of such a real event was still out of the reach of my knowledgeable foresight.

Slowly, I slumped, left leg, then right, over the side of my bed.  Deep ringing cresting high creshendows in my eardrums.  The alarm interminable, but right on time…that seemed to be changing…because it was standing still.  A slow walk, through the open door, down the creaky wooden floor of my ghost-laden1890’s house, led me to the old great grandfather clock, where the alarm continued to scream.  Not a minute off schedule, it rang on time as usual, but what would time be now that the sun was gone?  It had exploded, pure cotton white, leaving the deep hues and the gradations of the rainbow absent from the sky:  white, pure, eye piercing.

The End of the Color Wheel 2
surfer: gabe clark

Both hands of the clock were gone, probably stolen last night, I’m guessing around 4 am, when no one but the paperboy was awake.  He must have thrown his paper route like always, banging house doors with a hard throw.  He must have seen the eclipse, the flash, the transition of human understanding.  He must have came in and removed the hands of the clock of every house on his route, like Santa Claus, who comes down the chimney.  For there was no more need for hands on a clock anymore.  Time had changed, and was no longer going to be calculable.  Work would cease, cares would change, careers would no longer be necessary, and hypochondriacs would become claustrophobic, as stuffy, dank ashen air, was now the new oxygen for the eyes.

Was it the end of time?  The end of color?  The present past, post-modernism or a departure from it?

The End of the Color Wheel 3
surfer: shaun burns

Was I alive or dead?  I was still here, at least in my mind.  I could feel my toes, and my nose didn’t rub off when I touched it.  More importantly, was it the end of surfing?  That would be the end of life.

Like fog rolling in and out from the beach, tints of black and gray paraded in an out along the coast, adding contrast so to see definition, leaving an absence color anywhere but the ocean, and those strongly connected to it.

Apocalyptic, though only a precursor to the real end, time had stopped, and seemingly, warped backwards, towards the beginning.  The beginning, where God said let there be light, and there was light.  However, like T.V., black and white came before any color, it was almost like time had regressed, back to the future, taking its color away from everything, except the sacred ocean, and those intertwined with it.

The End of the Color Wheel 4
surfer: shaun burns

Storming, white lightning, a frost bitten sky, devoid of sensation, blanketed the day and black inked the figures that mulled through life without a care for the free sensations and meditations of nature and the greater oversoul.  Today, only the surfer and the ocean; the vagabond who was a part time worker and  a full time surfer was engaged enough with life to keep their color amongst the blanketing white-out sky that was cleansing the earth.

The End of the Color Wheel 5
surfer: shawn tracht

Shawn Tracht

Shawn Tracht is a Central California surfer who has been teaching English for 8 years. He is an avid writer, having a column in Deep Magazine ( about surfboard design, as well as a free-lance writer in various other surf magazines, both print and online. Though Shawn is sponsored as a surfer by Patagonia, Dakine, Etnies, and Central Coast Surfboards, Shawn loves being a father and husband most.
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12 years ago


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