© 2015 Honor Marks

Sullivan's Island Starfish
oil on canvas

"Found in an antique store on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a late summer day: an old postcard that bears a picture of three starfish and is emblazoned with the words "THE WALKING STAR! This five-legged wonder lives at the bottoms of sea pools and among the weedy shores which are found along our North American coasts. There are many species of starfish, whose colors are a match for the rainbow, in hues of red, orange and purple. Traveling in colonies, the starfish feed on clams, oysters and other shell fish . . . often depleting whole beds of these mollusks. Losing a leg creates no problem for the starfish. He simply grows another." I didn't know that starfish moved in colonies; I didn't know that they ate clams and oysters. And I certainly wasn't aware that starfish consumed shellfish in such astonishing quantities. But it is the breezy promise of the last sentences that make me purchase the postcard and put it on my desk: Losing a leg creates no problem for the starfish. He simply grows another. I like to think that somewhere far from here, beyond the end of summer, in the recesses of some blue sea, there are stars (walking stars!) in all the hues of the rainbow, and that they are quietly going about their business: matter-of-factly growing what they have lost, tirelessly working to make themselves whole, complete, new again." -Kate DiCamillo