Tuesday, July 6

A Year by the Sea

I have begun a book by Joan Anderson, one of the books I brought home from the library
last week....biographies, of women, to help me in my search to find the wellspring (there is a lovely word! def. "Original and bountiful source of something") of my current life.

I am going to record the passages that speak to me here...perhaps they will speak to someone else, as well.

All quotations are © Joan Anderson, italics are mine.

"Circling my head is a Monarch butterfly, which long ago should have been on its way to Brazil. "Perhaps you, too, need some extra time by the sea," I say, as it flaps it wings and settles on my shoulder. I eventually wander down from the bluff to the calm surf, where the water is not going anywhere, neither coming in nor going out, ebb tide, I suppose-the sea at a standstill, as am I. It was always the nothingness of ebb tide that drove me to distraction--when the wind stopped breathing and the water was still--when there wasn't enough depth to have a good swim and not enough current to make it a challenge."

"My soul is as drab as the September beach upon which I sit. I must be still and listen to the primitive squawk of birds and breathe, breathe deeply of the moist, clean air and be open to whatever comes my way."

"My instinct tells me to lie low, to process the grief that is the partner of change, but I am also aware that I should begin to do something."

"I was utterly entranced by one such child at the beach whose mother kept calling to her, "Victoria do this...Victoria do that." Victoria would have none of it; she was simply too immersed in her environment to eat or take a nap or be part of her family group. No, Victoria was in her wond world--breaking all the rules, naked to the waist, hair caked with salt and sand--the embodiment of bliss."

"Woman must come of age by herself. She must find her true center alone." Anne Morrow Lindbergh-Gift from the Sea (A chapter heading in this book....it takes me back to when we had a summer reading club a few years ago and read GFTS. Reading this book seems almost a continuation of reading that one. )

"But every time I replay the phone call of the other night I feel relieved, even privileged, to be apart from those who for so long looked to me to make everything work, to be without duty or schedule. Instead I stand here and dream and wonder and watch as the empties and fills itself up again."

"I am deep into my time-out season of life, where it seems best to be actively passive, involved in little, aware of much."

"...continuing on my private pilgrimage as I grapple with darkness, in hopes of seeing the light."

"I am beginning to grasp some idea of what I want. For starters, I want to take no action,"pursue that which is not meddlesome," says the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Having taken myself away, I am in a frame of mind to wait and see rather than manipulate and direct. Living with nature had taught me the dignity of being without motive. Occupying this tiny cottage with no clutter, only barren essentials, has served to help me find more in less."

"I read somewhere that the Frenchwoman's role is to please others, but to please herself in the process!"